shigaraki peops: naoki koide

i have been having a great time at shigaraki and one reason for that is all the awesome artists i am getting to know and work next to.  in this little series of blog posts i hope to briefly introduce these awesome people.

koide-san with figure.

naoki koide has appeared in this blog before, in this post about the paul clay show at salon 94.  his work is in the second picture, the pink cloud-like figure in the foreground.  that was my first time to see his work in person.  all i really knew about him was that he was represented by tomio koyama gallery, where agatha and i curated think warm: miami draws for you back in 2006.  turns out he saw the show too!  i’m a big fan of his work and am now a fan of the person as well.

koide-san spends about a week of each month at togei no mori (shigaraki ceramic cultural park) and does his clay work exclusively here. he studied at tokyo zokei university and was at one time a student/assistant of yoshitomo nara.  like nara, he used to work in plastics.  they are both featured in a show at the Museum of Contemporary Ceramic Arts right now (titled doki doki) which features artists working in other media who have created works in ceramic and variety of ceramic artists.

though he is kicking some serious butt with clay he is also beginning to explore sculpting wood, which he can do at his studio at home.  he mentioned that he gets huge chunks of wood from generous wood firing friends around shigaraki.

maquettes and small figures for mini trade

koide-san said his work is always about his family.  earlier works talked about his parents and brother and in his current work he explores his small family of three.  in sculptures of heads, which in scale are much larger than life, he portrays his wife and himself.  he often portrays his wife as larger than himself.  when i asked why that was he said that it is because she possesses more power than he.

maquette of current work.

on one side of these large sculpture an active interior is visible, full of tiny sculptures, paths and, in this series, a large figure symbolizing his young daughter.

back of maquette with inner world.

the seemingly unrelated milieu of items inside the sculpture correlate to the mess of things constantly dancing around in our heads and the placement of the daughter figure explores the different relationships the mother and father have with the daughter.

koide-san with his in progress sculptures. they are only about halfway done!

for the one short week he was in residence koide-san was a great contributor to the fun and comradeship at togei no mori.

his work is up at the new hikarie building in shibuya now.  click the link for images and an interview (with is in japanese but features some great shots of the insides of koide-san’s sculpture).

coffee break.

check back for more run downs on the awesome artists working at togei no mori this month:)

field trip.

meal that another american artist and i threw together the other night.

i’m on a mission to learn some proper japanese cooking, this is my attempt at miso soup.

some in progress works, i think i will have a pretty substantial installation or these by the end…

saturday i headed out to kyoto with 2 of the other artists. i had seen some of these sites before (with parents, benny, masa) but despite the droves of us tourists they are still amazingly beautiful and great to see again.

kiyomizudera, i think that translates to pure water temple, but don’t hold me to it. you can, intriguingly, pay a couple hundred yen to take off your shoes, walk into the temple and into complete blackness (you have a rail to hold which leads you around), around a spiral and into a room with a large stone. if you place your hand on this stone you can make a wish. this dark place is considered the womb of the temple. 🙂

star leaves.

turtles.

shopping street.

meaghan, an artist from cali, with some maikos on the streets of kyoto.

shizuka, who is working at the togei no mori for a whole year, modeling a hat in a small shop.

kinkakuji, the golden temple.

ship shaped giant bonzai…

cool trees.

after the golden temple we went to another famous site, ryoenji, which is a temple and a zen rock garden.  i didn’t take any pictures, because i was busy talking with shizuka about art and happiness.  i hope to post pics and some discussion with several of the artists working at the togei no mori in this blog so keep an eye out.

anyway, on the way back to the car…wait for it…..

2 words, cat cafe.

CAT CAFE!? i didn’t go in. but i wanted to …..