Shigekazu Nagae is a leading pioneer of porcelain slipcasting techniques in Japan. Casting is
commonly associated with mass-produced porcelain, yet Nagae transcends this stereotype to
create abstract works that are emancipated from the creative restrictions imposed by
functionality. His latest works are the culmination of his extensive experiments into the
qualities of clay and fire. Liquid porcelain is first slip-cast into two different moulds. After drying
and bisque-firing, the separate pieces are hung mid-air within Nagae’s kiln and attached
together with glaze. The natural curvatures and silhouettes are a result of the natural kiln
effects that serendipitously drape and taper the porcelain into organic sheets.
Born in Seto, Aichi, Nagae studied ceramics in Seto before teaching in both Seto and Bunsei.
In 2002 he became a member of the International Ceramics Academy, and in 2004 received
the Cultural Prize, Art Selection of Aichi Prefecture, Aichi. Other awards include Grand Prix,
Japan Ceramic Art Exhibition, Grand Prix, Triennal de la Porcelain, Nyon and Grand Prix, Mino
Ceramic Festival, Japan
The Museum of Contemporary Ceramic Art, Shiga, Japan
Japan Foundation, Japan
Sevre National Museum of Ceramics, Paris, France
Museum of Modern Ceramic Art, Gifu
Tokoname City, Aichi Prefecture, Japan
Musee Ariana, Geneva, Switzerland
Victoria & Albert Museum, London, UK
Possibilities in Form
The Nagae Shigekazu Porcelain Art Exhibition
Nagae Shigekazu (1958 – ) has not exhibited new works for the past five years. This exhibition thus marks the return of the artist to the exhibition scene. Nagae received the Grand Prix at the Triennal de la Porcelain, Nyon, in 1998, for his white porcelain work. Since then, he has experimented with multiple colors and shapes in his ceramic. Even so, for the Yufuku Exhibition, Nagae says he has focused on the dual elements of deduction and omission. The forms were curved and shaped to their utmost limits, the bases of the pieces were shorn, and colors were discarded in favor of the serenity of pure white. As a result, the artist has succeeded in depicting an almost organic movement within his porcelain. For more on this artist, please click here (outside link to our sister site).
In the meantime, some words from Nagae himself regarding Tsunanari no Katachi.
“This new series is comprised of various shapes, whether they be triangular, rectangular or hexagonal, that are assorted as sets, then hung within a kiln and fired accordingly. Through kiln firing, the various curves and surfaces coalesce and unite in succession, thereby creating changing forms. Such is my intent.
Glaze is applied to each connecting part before firing. Then the pieces are suspended in mid-air within the kiln. As the glaze melts through the kiln fires, it crystalizes into glass. Thus what is left are “ceramic forms in succession.'”