Wow. Let me tell you about Japanese potter, Genya Murakami. This artist was suggested to me for our instagram highlights by @co_potter and I am so glad she did. My morning has been spent looking at these images of his work….They look like the swirling of wind and flame…with tornados and dragons somehow mixed in. But there’s not a lot on his instagram so i turned to google.
Murakami has embraced the style of the Jōmon revival and these motifs are referenced in his ceramic work. (for information on Jōmon civilization in Japan, check our social links in our bio). I really admire the process he went through to find his own voice for his work. It reminds me of how the old music composition masters learned….first by copying. Much like Mozart spent time copying the scores of Bach to learn music theory, so to did Genya Murakami. “I spent the first three years replicating Jomon dogu and earthenware in exact detail,” he says. From that work, learning the techniques and the style, Murakami was able to create his own works, blending the ancient civilization with some modern influences, however his tools, process and approach are completely in keeping with authentic considerations. Bamboo, stone, bone tools, and full day pit firings were used to create his fire-flame vessels, in the same manner that we believe the neolithic hunter-gathers did.
In high contrast, it seems he also did a bit of coding, specifically in the C++ language. Because of this, my google searches led me to an article on reddit about his compile time sound synthesizer. And that’s when my day went a bit downhill as i discovered that at only 32 years old, this very interesting artist, who i want to know more about, passed away earlier this year. The author of this post wrote a lovely short memory of Murakami (link in bio) I can’t say how much i was looking forward to seeing his work evolve.
And I am intrigued by the history of the Jomon culture. For those of you who have been following our progress on the new set of ceramic lesson plans encouraing diversity and the exploration of other cultures, perhap you could already see this coming, but I am definitely adding this to my list..