In her Kitsch Kogei collection, artist Keiko Masumoto crafts ceramic vessels unexpectedly embedded with octopuses. Each piece that composes the sea-inspired series beautifully blends a surreal silhouette with a classic aesthetic, tip-toeing the line between form and function.
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The ceramic octopus vessels feature intricately painted blue-and-white patterns characteristic of traditional Chinese (and eventually Japanese) wares. Like the age-old pieces that have inspired them, Masumoto’s vases, teapots, and urns are both inherently utilitarian and undeniably visually appealing. Unlike ancient pottery, however, Masumoto’s contemporary ceramics also act as avant-garde, surreal sculptures, with the coiling tentacles, bulbous heads, and ever-watching eyes of octopuses materializing on their glazed surfaces.
To the artist, this relationship between art and craft is a driving force in her practice. By creating pieces that are simultaneously functional and sculptural, she aims to question, explore, and challenge conventional perceptions of art. “Whether art or craft, I want to offer work that is intensely conscious of that category, that framework, to explore what I myself felt,” she explains. “What spurred me to create this series of works was the idea that they might generate some insight, if featured in an intriguing way; works that are situated on that ambiguous boundary.”
In addition to her octopus-adorned vessels, Masumoto creates other quirky ceramic composites. You can see them on the International Creative Network website.
Contemporary ceramicist Keiko Masumoto crafts ceramic octopus vessels that are both functional and aesthetically fascinating.
Keiko Masumoto: Website
All images via Keiko Masumoto.
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