‘Layers’ brings together the works of two artists, Japanese Washi Paper artist Wataru Hatano and ceramicist Tetsuya Ozawa, under one thought-provoking collection. The exhibition explores the use of layers in artforms, to create a depth and complexity within minimal, abstract pieces. ‘Layers’ describes the textured surfaces achieved by both artists, combining an interest in modern and ancient Japanese tradition.
The Japanese say you have three faces. The first you show the world. The second you show your close friends and family. The third face you never show - it is the truest reflection of who you are. Taking inspiration from this, the exhibition explores these vulnerabilities in truest forms of art with confidence, their journey to a full-bodied and polished piece, uncovering each layered process.
Tetsuya Ozawa celebrates his disregard for uniformity through ‘kofuki’, a dusting technique developing a contrast layering to his pieces. His application of this to the Tokomamae black clay, ‘Chara’, traditional glaze and white soil, sculpts the freedom detected in his designs and their rough textures, comparable to Hatano’s abstract painting. The pairing of these pieces creates an intriguing yet calming ambiance, an exploration of organic and unbounded boundaries.
Working with regional methods and alongside local materials from Kurotani, Wataru Hatano is a highly acclaimed washi craftsman and papermaker, with an eponymous company using this mixture of Kozo trees and fresh water as a construction material. Washi is traditional Japanese paper (wa- Japanese, shi- paper) and is made from the fibres of either kozo, gampi or mitsumata plants.
His pieces feature natural and varied surface textures, achieved through a combination of soil, pigment, acrylic and Japanese paper on wooden board. The “worn away” surfaces in parts, gives his pieces character and a sense of age, the works develop into a multi-dimensional display of its organic journey from Kozo bark, fermentation, paste, to painting.
Similarly from Japan, Ozawa is based in Tokomame City, Aichi Prefecture. His striking yet simple forms are indicative of his inspiration, Mark Rothko, seeking to create the same feeling of serenity he experiences looking at Rothko’s abstract paintings with his ceramics.
This exhibition explores a connection in individuality through a tactile journey of layering. The contrasting forms and approaches are bound by Ozawa and Hatano’s sourcing of earthly materials, exposure of depth, and character given to each piece through their unique surfaces.