BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA — A cloud pulls away from the sun like a sheet, causing the light to crawl across the glass of a skyscraper. It’s over almost as soon as you notice it, but it leaves an impression. The ephemerality makes that experience hard to articulate later, but it sticks with you.
Artist Kenji Uranishi is interested in those temporary experiences; he’s trying to capture them with his newest exhibition, Momentary, at the Museum of Brisbane (February 19 — May 22).
“Everything is momentary,” Uranishi states in the video included in this post. “Nothing stays the same. This body of work is trying to capture the memory of that beautiful moment.”
Video by Simon Woods.
Uranishi moved to Australia about a decade ago, a decision that allowed him to bring his traditional ceramic techniques to a new location, while also giving him distance from the expectations of his home ceramics culture. The museum states that his exhibition draws on patterns and forms found in both man-made and natural locations. He was inspired by the momentary interplay of light across the urban landscape. His focus is on ephemerality, and that cannot be separated from a discussion about continual change in the natural world.
In a way Uranishi subverts the natural order by freezing that moment in a solid form. We imagine it’s like trying to stick a cloud in a zoo. Still, ceramics have considerable ties to the otherworldly quality Uranishi chases. Such moments demand exact construction to exist and the fragility of ceramics mirrors the way these moments can be ended forever by a blink, or a sneeze, or a distracting sound. As we tease out connections we’re reminded of Jenny Filipetti’s Breath Vessels, another project that gives solid form to a temporary moment.
Kenji Uranishi was born in Nara, Japan, according to his biography on Beaver Galleries. After completing a Degree in Fine Art (ceramics) at the Nara College of Fine Arts in Japan, Kenji operated his own home studio, ‘Kenkoubou’, for six years before moving to Brisbane in 2004. Since moving to Australia, he has exhibited regularly, both in Australia and in Japan and has been a prize winner three times at the National Asahi Ceramic Art Competition in Japan. His work is represented in the National Gallery of Australia, the Gold Coast City Art Gallery, Bundall, Qld and the Newcaslte Regional Gallery, NSW.
Bill Rodgers is the Managing Editor of cfile.daily.
Do you love or loathe these works of contemporary ceramic art? Let us know in the comments.