Born in 1995 in Higashiomi City, Shiga, Gaku Nakane graduated from Kyoto Municipal Doha Arts and Crafts High School in 2014, and Kyoto Prefectural Ceramics Technical College in 2016. Nakane then undertook a five year apprenticeship studying under Masahiko Ichino, one of the country’s leading modern ceramicists. His relatively short artistic career has already seen him amass a number of arts and ceramics awards. Maud & Mabel are honoured to present a significant collection of this emerging Japanese artist’s works in London in 2023.
Gaku Nakane’s work evolves daily. Inspired by the landscape surrounding his idyllic countryside home and workshop, with its striking cliffs and boundless forests, Nakane’s youth spent playing amongst natural environments is a pervading conceptual exploration within his work. His works exhibit a sustained meditation on the palettes and textures of nature; observing with heightened perception the surfaces of trees, rocks and other materials has shaped his artistic identity. Combining characterful silhouettes with intricate, tactile surfaces, Nakane wishes to explore ‘ambiguities of boundaries’ between the handmade and the naturally formed: “between a vessel like a stone and a stone like a vessel”. For Nakane, a sense of temporality is intrinsic to his work. He is drawn to nature due to the proximity it gives to a material feeling of time that one can experience, something that is embodied and felt rather than abstract. The forms of rocks changing as they tumble down a flowing river, or large fallen trees carved with cuts and bruises: their appearance is a reflection of time, and Nakane delights in the stories, emotions and experiences that are reflected and embedded through shape and form - allow him to think about those that have come before him. This extends too to Nakane’s fascination with antique items and old tools, which sometimes feature within his sculptural ceramic installations.