Artist's Statement: Keiko Masumoto, the Toshiba Ceramics Resident at the V&A

By Ben Miller | 28 June 2013

Artist's Statement: Having previously been the Artist in Residence at Philadelphia's University of Arts, Keiko Masumoto is the current Toshiba Ceramics Resident at the V&A. Ahead of her appearance at the International Ceramics Festival, she tells us about her vessels and anti-vessels...

A photo of a woman working on ceramics
© Keiko Masumoto
“This is the first time for me to present my working techniques at an international festival of this kind.

As well as presenting my own work, it will be great to see all of the other internationally renowned artists working there too.

What’s really special about this festival is that visitors get to see work by highly regarded ceramicists close up – pieces we would otherwise only see as photographs in print or on the internet.

I’ve attended ceramics festivals in Japan and have really enjoyed taking part in these. The International Ceramics Festival in Aberystwyth presents a range of cultures and traditions in ceramic practice that I expect will have many similarities to, yet many differences from, Japan’s ceramics culture – and I am especially fascinated by cultural exchange.

During my residency at the V&A, I am researching the exchange of ideas and influences in design and ceramic craft between East Asia and Europe.

The V&A’s collections are really interesting for my research because they include extensive holdings of ceramics from all over the world.

This makes them absolutely perfect for my interest in trade and exchange, especially during Japan’s Meiji period [1868-1912], when Japan became an active player on the international scene after several centuries of relative isolation.

The Ceramics Residency Studio at the V&A is very special for me as it forms an integral part of the gallery, exploring the materials and techniques used in the making of ceramics at different times in history and in different parts of the world.

Visitors can see my making processes and techniques and can also visit me during Open Studios to see my work close up, ask questions, engage in discussion and have hands-on experience of ceramics at different stages in the making process.

I am very enthusiastic about working with the public. I’m inspired by seeing people laughing and enjoying themselves as they work with clay.”

More pictures:

A photo of two sculpted ceramic birds in light brown and yellow
© Keiko Masumoto

A photo of a white and blue ceramic vase
© Keiko Masumoto
A photo of a large white ceramic vessel in a gallery
© Keiko Masumoto
A photo of a large circular ceramic sculpture in dark red
© Keiko Masumoto
A photo of a ceramic working of a gold oriental temple
© Keiko Masumoto

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