WASSENAAR, The Netherlands––Graphic, pop culture collages delightfully frame groupings of patterned vases in the playfully symbiotic, eponymous exhibition by artist team, husband and wife Shio Kusaka and Jonas Wood at Museum Voorlinden. (September 30, 2017 – January 7, 2018).
Their exhibition is as much about their work as is it their life together. Living and working in Culver City for more than ten years, Kusaka is a ceramist, born in Morioka, Japan, and Wood is an American painter from Boston, as the museum writes. Their art has long been a family affair. Even so, Shio and Jonas both work in very different modalities, but much like their intertwined lives, so is their art. For example, one can see how Kusaka employs patterns from Woods’ recurring motifs, just as references to Kusaka’s ceramics recur in his––they are each other’s muse..
The mutual influence is at first sight reflected in Jonas’ paintings which include Shio’s pots and objects. Shio in turn derives patterns of sports attributes and other everyday forms from the work of Jonas. This creates a visual dance between the two artists. An interaction is also visible in their individual search for line and form.
The two work from their personal memories and joint history, in which clear references to Japanese aesthetics, pop culture and modern art history are visible. Hierarchy plays no role in their work; whose idea it was is immaterial to the mixing of ideas and dialogue.
“A duo exhibition of this couple is like a pas de deux. When you see the works together you feel the mutual dynamics and how they come together in a symbiotic way. It is like a visual game of motifs, shapes, patterns and colors: a feast for the eye.” ––Museum Director Suzanne Swar
The exhibition at Museum Voorlinden is a voyage of discovery through the colorful, eclectic world of the two artists in which the distinction between high art and low art has disappeared, The museum adds. Kusaka tells W Magazine both she and Wood revel in the imperfection and messiness of creativity in their own ways.
“I always feel like for me and Jonas, it’s kind of like a rolling stop sign. You’re supposed to stop at the stop sign, but you only kind of stop. We are not really – or at least I am not – trying to make it wrong, but I am aware that I’m not right, too.”
Love or loathe this exhibition from the world of contemporary ceramic art and contemporary ceramics.