Fig.2. Shizuka Okada, Slender and long my whistle

March 24 Saturday – April 22 Sunday


Opening reception: Saturday March 24 16:00-19:00
Open Thursday to Sunday 12:00–19:00 (Sunday: 12:00-17:00)
Closed on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and National Holidays

ARTiT Photo Report

Fig is pleased to announce Shizuka Okada's solo exhibition Slender and long my whistle. The exhibition features a new body of Okada's ceramic works, and an artist’s book will be published in response to the exhibition.

Okada proceeds to keep her hands moving as molds an ‘image’ that comes to her minds, a common motive that painters have towards their canvas. This image is not only a mental phenomenon but is an outcome of intertwining images of fantasized landscape and her personal life experiences. For example, she recently is attracted to “thin and long” things such as sleeping, whistling, deep breathes, years (time), history, and trickles of waters. Incorporating the images that she sees surrounding her everyday life, she combines it with her own imaginary images as she twists and molds. These series of tasks, which can also be said to give physicality to an image, recall the notion of “object.” The object, in this case, does not mean “sculpture-like things,” or it does not mean the absence of Okada's subjectivity in her works. If anything, it is most likely similar to the concept of ‘object’ favored by the Surrealists. According to them, objects are separated from their environment (proper position), the functions and roles that it originally owned; objects to be observed are then reconstructed and redefined by the observer (observer’s desire). However, in the case of Okada, the found object (image) is not presented as a (modified) ready-made. For Okada, the “found object” as an image, an image she physically and mentally molded, that surely existed at one point would eventually lose its original appearance and begins to float its way out. After ‘firing,’ which should be said as cremation of the object as an image, it finally appears as an entity in front of the audience. At first, each work as an accumulation of these objects seems to have its own subjectivity, but when looking at the works of Okada, due to the property of the ’ceramics’ material, each piece is a chip, otherwise seem to become a fragment— it is by no means to remind the whole nature or “something” that these pieces will form. If each “object” does not hold as a part to recall the whole, it is more appropriate to apply the word “fragment” rather than a “chip.” Is it somewhat rough to view these fragments that are not allowed to become fragments?

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Go down to the beach, and I pick up shells. These shells suddenly transform then double-exposures with the face of Dali, an object-maniac. —However, when taking it all the way back, it is no more than a piece of the fragment. It is at the very least a magical fragment. Half in reality, half is unreal….

Magical Fragments, Shuzo Takiguchi

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Shizuka Okada was born in 1987 in Gunma Prefecture, Japan. After graduating from Musashino Art University Department of Craft and Industrial Design, majoring in ceramics in 2010, Okada studied further in Switzerland and participated an artist residency at the Shigaraki Ceramic Cultural Park. Okada enrolled in the Städelschule, Staatliche Hochschule für Bildende Künste in 2013 and currently lives and works in Tokyo.

Please contact fig@ffiigg.org for any inquiry.