Satoko Kako 加古智子

心踊る、自由でおおらかなセラミック

“Satoko_top"

自由の都市、ベルリン

Satoko Kakoがベルリンへ移住したのは2005年。高校時代に愛読していた美術手帖でベルリン特集を見て、直感で私はこの街に行かなければ!と思った。ドイツの首都でありながら、街の至る所に大きな公園があり、忙しい日々の中でもどこかのんびりとした空気の流れる街。世界中から、国籍も人種も様々なクリエイターが集まり、毎週のようにどこかでオープニングパーティーが開かれ、アートイベントが開催される。街全体がアートを求め、アートを愛するそんな空気が流れるベルリンには、彼女が求めていた「自由」があった。外国人として何のバックアップもない中、飛び込んできた彼女を、その街は受け入れ、作り続けることを肯定してくれた。多くの異文化に触れて、同じようにもの作りをする友人たちと切磋琢磨できる環境は、彼女の作家活動、そして人生に大きな影響を与えた。

“Satoko01"

偶然性が生み出す、枠にはまらない器

日本の美術大学を卒業後、ミュンヘンの美術大学に入り直しファインアートを専攻。卒業後、画家として活動していた彼女が陶芸を始めたのは意外にも最近のことだ。子供が生まれてまだ幼かった頃、たまたま京都の陶芸工房でワークショップに参加。子育てに追われながら画家として制作を続ける中、出会った土。幼少期、粘土や工作が好きだった自由な自分が蘇り、直感的に「これだ」と思った。制作意欲が爆発し、勢いそのままに工房に窯を設置、土にのめり込んでいった。
独学で陶芸を学んだKakoの作品は、手びねりで作られたおおらかな形、色とりどりの絵の具で描かれる線が、どこまでものびのびと自由だ。ペインティングをバックボーンに持つ彼女の作品は、「器」という固定概念から離れて、まるでキャンバスの上の絵のように、自由な色使いで見るものの心を躍らせる。絵画と陶芸、どちらの作品でも、予定調和でない偶然性を大切にしている。偶然生まれる色や形は、時に想定していたものを超える。そうした偶然性との出会いは、子育てとも似てるという。思い通りにならないハプニングや、その中で生まれるコミュニケーション、そういうものが宝物のように愛おしい。そうした偶然性を呼び込む「不完全さ」は、彼女の作品づくりのテーマでもあり、人生のテーマでもある。

“Satoko02"

日常のすべてがインスピレーション

特別なものよりも、日常に溢れる些細な出来事や風景、ファッションなど、すべてのものからアイデアをもらう。中でも子供との時間は、大きなインスピレーションの源だ。最近一番影響を受けたものは「ポケモン」。子供にせがまれて、毎日ポケモンのキャラクターを描いているうちに、その色の組み合わせや形、自然界から着想したそのコンセプトに多くのヒントをもらった。そもそも子供が生まれたことがきっかけで、陶芸をスタートしたKakoにとっては、子育てはなにより大きな制作の原動力でもあり、拠り所でもあるのだろう。彼女の表現活動を語る上で、ペインター、陶芸家、といった肩書きはあまり意味をなさない。アーティストとして表現したい欲求があって、その先にあったマテリアルとの出会いが、たまたまキャンバスであり、土であった、そういうことだと思う。メディアが変わっても、彼女の表現に向かう熱量や自由でいることへの渇望は不変なのだ。

“Satoko03"
1983
東京生まれ
2005
ベルリンへ移住。
2014
Akademie der Bildenden Künste München卒業。以後ベルリンを拠点に活動中。

Ceramics with an Air of Openness and Freedom, that Bring Excitement

“Satoko_top"

Berlin, the City of Freedom

Satoko Kako moved to Berlin in 2005. Having come across a special feature on Berlin in Bijutsu Techo magazine, which she had fondly read during her high school years, she had intuitively gained the urge to travel to this city one day. While being the capital of Germany, the city of Berlin is home to many large parks, and even amidst the hustle and bustle of everyday life, permeates with a leisurely atmosphere of sorts. Being a place that attracts creators of various nationalities and racial backgrounds from all over the world, opening parties and art events are held there in some place or another every week. Berlin, where the entire city itself appeared to pursue and embrace art, had indeed possessed the “freedom” that she sought. Despite being a foreigner and setting foot on unknown soil without any backup, the city had welcomed Kako and supported her in her artistic endeavors. This environment that exposed her to many different cultures and allowed her to pursue her practice in the company of friends and acquaintances who too were active in the creative field, truly had a significant influence on her artistic career and life as a whole.

“Satoko01"

Vessels Born through Fortuity that Defy Convention

After graduating from an art college in Japan, Satoko Kako enrolled at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste München to study Fine Art. Surprisingly, it is only recently that she began engaging with ceramics, having initially worked in the field of painting upon completing her studies. When she had become a mother and was caring for her young child, she happened to take part in a ceramics workshop in Kyoto. Clay was thus something that she had encountered amidst her busy days of raising her child and continuing to work as a painter. Having recalled her childhood days when she was free, and enjoyed working with clay and crafts, she instinctively felt that “this was it.” Overwhelmed by her explosive creative desire, she soon set up a kiln in her studio, and became engrossed in the world of clay.

Kako’s works, as an artist self-taught in ceramics, demonstrate an endless air of spontaneity and freedom through their equable forms achieved through hand-building as well as lines painted in an array of colors. Grounded upon her experience in painting, her works deviate from the stereotype and conventions of the “vessel” –exciting those who set eyes upon through her free use of colors reminiscent of applying paint to canvas. In both her painting and ceramic works, Kako places value on fortuity that does not adhere to any means of pre-established harmony. The colors and shapes that are born by chance at times exceed expectations. The artist describes her encounters with such fortuity as bearing similarities to raising a child. Everything from happenings that don’t go as planned to the communication that arises amidst them, are all preciously cherishing. “Imperfections” that bring about such fortuity are both the theme of her work and is a theme within her life.

“Satoko02"

Drawing Inspiration from Everything in Daily Life

Rather than what is special or out of the ordinary, Kako gains ideas from all manner of things such as trivial events, scenes, and fashion that she comes across throughout her everyday life. Among them, the time she spends with her child is a great source of inspiration. What she has most recently been influenced by is “Pokémon.” While drawing Pokémon characters day after day due to requests from her child, she gradually started to gain many clues from their shapes and color combinations, as well as their concept that are inspired by the natural world. For Kako, who in the first place had started working with ceramics after giving birth to her child, parenting is likely both a significant driving force and a foundation for her practice. Labels such a painter or ceramicist do not seem to bear much meaning in terms of discussing her artistic activities. It simply comes down to the fact that what she had encountered in her pursuit to fulfill her creative desires as an artist, simply happened to be canvas, and clay. Although her chosen medium may change, her enthusiasm for expression and her thirst for freedom are that which remains unchanged.

“Satoko03"
1983
Born in Tokyo
2005
Moved to Berlin
2014
Graduated from Akademie der Bildenden Künste München. Currently lives and works in Berlin.
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