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Please note: Orders from the Musuhi exhibition will be dispatched after the 29th May

Seijaku / Stillness: The Gravity of Time

2nd June 2023

Seijaku / Stillness: The Gravity of Time

Seijaku — a Japanese aesthetic principal referring to calmness amidst chaos

Maud & Mabel’s upcoming exhibition featuring ten Japanese artists presents the concept of Seijaku, centering around the values of tranquillity and calmness, and stillness and solitude emitted amidst activity. This perhaps resonates with our post Covid-19 moment, when events, activities, social engagements, and various aspects of life resume after what seemed like a lull in the constant buzz present in the contemporary. Many pieces featured in Seijaku / Stillness attain the effect of visible time – an allusion appealing to the gravitational pull of time past, which induces a transient halt in our rapid pace routine activities. Objects bearing the weight of time take on a dignified presence, inviting viewers to appreciate its resilience and observe its strength against the test of time.

Ceramic vessels by Mizuyo Yamashita for Seijaku / Stillness exhibition at Maud & Mabel. (Photograph Josephine Cottrell).
M I Z U Y O  Y A M A S H I T A

The natural and muted tones of Mizuyo Yamashita’s ceramics are inspired by archaeological artefacts from various cultures and nature. The artist combines different traditions of clay making and manipulates traditional craft-making techniques for modern sensibilities.

Photoshoot of Ceramic vessels by Mizuyo Yamashita for Maud & Mabel. (Photograph Josephine Cottrell).

T E T S U Y A  O Z A W A

The rough textured ceramics of Tetsuya Ozawa evoke serenity. Ozawa uses black clay from Tokomame, a city in Japan celebrated for its ceramic production, combining it with Chara, a traditional glaze. The kofuki dusting technique creates textural markings that invite quiet contemplation – an effect prompted by the artist’s admiration of modern artist Mark Rothko. These markings create an illusion of the ceramics being time-worn which reflect back on the traditional materials and techniques used.

Photoshoot of vessels by Tetsuya Ozawa for Maud & Mabel. (Photograph Josephine Cottrell).

T A K A D A  K A E

Takada Kae is a new artist presented by Maud & Mabel in the exhibition. Kae uses tebineri, hand-turned potter’s wheel, to create pieces that are finished with a handbuilding process. The artist paints textured clays on the body of the ceramics in a way which emphasises the texture of soil. The combination of the form and texture results in pieces that have an organic and archaic presence, acquiring a solemnity of archeological finds which have lived buried under earth for years.

Ceramics by Takada Kae for Seijaku / Stillness exhibition at Maud & Mabel. (Photograph Josephine Cottrell).

Y O K O  O Z A W A

Yoko Ozawa celebrates the simplicity of organic forms, rooted in her interest in natural phenomena – ‘seasonal transitions, fog, breeze, rain, light and shadow’. She is also influenced by the Japanese notion of yohaku (blank space). The subtle crackles in the glaze and strokes of rust-colouring make her work appear to have been weathered down by time, surviving the conditions of nature. 

Teapot by Yoko Ozawa for Maud & Mabel. (Photograph Josephine Cottrell).

K O U Z O  T A K E U C H I

Seijaku / Stillness is Kouzo Takeuchi’s exhibition with Maud & Mabel. Takeuchi’s geometrical porcelain designs explore themes of physical decay and the passage of time. Images of ancient ruins in South America left a striking impression on the artist, who then wanted to capture the ambience of decayed buildings, reflecting on the broad concepts of cycles of destruction and creation in humanity.

Ceramic works by Kouzo Takeuchi. (Courtesy the artist @kouzotakeuchi).

S H U N  K U M A G A I

Shun Kumagai is another artist new to Maud & Mabel. Kumagi’s uses a glass casting technique, pouring molten glass and mixed materials, including metal and soil, into gypsum moulds. The artist makes his own moulds by shaping wax and pouring liquid plaster around the wax, which he then melts after the gypsum hardens. The mixed materials generate an ambiguity – appearing more like glass or earthenware depending on the lighting. The final product is reminiscent of ancient Roman glasswares with accrued soil encrustations and a shimmer from gradual withering.

Glass vessel by Shun Kumagai. (Courtesy of the artist).

A K I  S A K A I D A

Aki Sakaida uses glassblowing to create the forms of her glassware, exploring the rich expressions of colour and texture through her glass vessels. Her pieces are smoke-stained with burnt wax, attaining a matte texture. The smoky glasswares acquire a sense of enigmatic timelessness.

 Glass vessels by Aki Sakaida. (Courtesy of the artist @akisakaida).

M O T O M U  O Y A M A

Motomu Oyama explores the beauty of iron in his metalworks. The artist is inspired by the properties of iron – the ways it rusts, melts and bends, and creates works that subtly display the different states of the material in his works. The ancient technique of blacksmithing is used to bring a sense of solemnity to the pieces, with associations to iron artefacts that were often used ritualistically.

Iron vesels by Motomu Oyama for Maud & Mabel. (Photograph Josephine Cottrell).

H A T A N O  W A T A R U

Papermaker Hatano Wataru is based in Kurotani, an area in northern Kyoto prefecture that has a long-standing central position in the history of making washi paper. Wataru uses washi to construct pieces that are textural and have a sculptural quality from the process of building and extracting. With a 1500-year history, washi paper carries the connotation of tradition embedded in Wataru’s innovative use of the material.

Photoshoot showing washi paper artwork by Hatano Wataru and vessels by Tetsuya Ozawa for Maud & Mabel. (Photograph Josephine Cottrell).

Y A S U H I D E  O N O

I wear a part of the earth.’ – Yasuhide Ono

Jeweller Yasuhide Ono highlights minerals and old materials that show their age. The simplicity of Ono’s designs highlights the profund timelessness of the stones, which embody endurance through the longevity of its time against natural elements.

Jewellery by Yasuhide Ono for Maud & Mabel. (Photograph courtesy the artist).


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