TSUCHI: The Beauty and Peril of Earthy Materials in Contemporary Japanese Art

When 4 Mar 2021
5:00PM - 6:00PM
Where University of California Irvine, Department of Art History
2000 Humanities Gateway
Irvine, CA 92697
United States

Earthy materials such as soil, clay, sand, and gravel have exerted an increasingly powerful attraction on Japanese artists in recent decades. These materials manifest themselves in multifarious ways, ranging from a beguiling sensuous impression of nourishing fertility to toxic contamination that threatens survival. This presentation will examine “tsuchi,” a Japanese word for earth, in works of ceramics, photography, and installation art. Artists considered include the ceramicist Kosho Ito, the installation artist Toshikatsu Endo, and the photographer Like Shiga. The artistic fate of tsuchi is closely entwined with the ecological challenges of life on the Earth.

Dr. Bert Winther-Tamaki

Chair& Professor of Art History Department, Professor of Visual Studies Pd.D program @University of California, Irvine

Awards and Honors: 2020 Dean’s Honoree, Celebration of Teaching Recent Publications: “Japanese Views of the Void in Sam Francis’s Painting during the ‘Informel Whirlwind,’” In Focus: Around the Blues 1957, 1962–3 by Sam Francis. (London: Tate Museum, July 2019). Online publication: https://www.tate.org.uk/research/publications/in-focus/around-the-blues/japanese-views-of-the-void. “Earth Flavor (Tsuchi aji) in Postwar Japanese Ceramics,” Japan Review: Journal of the International Research Center for Japanese Studies, no. 32 (2019): 151-191.

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Image courtesy of the event organizer.