Yoshikawa has been working at the Atelier Yamanami since 1988. His ceramic sculptures, composed of countless dots, initially seem abstract. However, the detailed patterns are not dots but small faces—a distinctive visual language that the artist maintains in any media. He makes it his rule to put “two eyes, a nose, and a mouth” on each face, even when the faces are incredibly small. While he is at work, he puts his own face as close to his project as possible, creating every tiny face with extraordinary care. The faces are often so small that audiences must look very closely to identify their features.
The artists at Atelier Yamanami are supported by a studio staff but they are entirely self-directed. The studios are designed for exceptional accessibility, privacy and the comfort of their community members, who are given unlimited access to art materials and studio space five days a week.
Dimensions (in): 14.6×3.1×3.1
Courtesy of Atelier Yamanami
ArtPrize Vote Code: 68591
The works are comprised of three elongated conical shapes set upright. These objects are made of clay, and fired to a gray blue with light brown along the back. Although the shapes are unevenly made, they generally are wider at the bottom than they are at the top. Starting at various points about a third of the way up each of the works is a rough-textured area. This area appears formed by notching small divots in horizontal lines across the works’ surfaces. The area wraps almost all the way around each work, but leaves an uneven, smooth gap on one side extending all the way to its top.