Gallery 2: Kagure
Kagure, Urban Research is a Japanese ethical design initiative that specialises in working with crafts people whose practice has a strong commitment to sustainable development, and whose work reflects the traditions of the medium in which they work. They aim to lead a ‘local, sustainable life style, and a connection with the earth, even in the city’.
Gallery 2: Takahiro Kondo
Gallery 2 will also show INOCHI NO UTSUWA, works from a Tohoku project initiated by Takahiro Kondo. Takahiro Kondo has strong ties to the region, partly through his wife, whose family is from Sendai, and he has been giving summer workshops in ceramics in Tohoku for some 10 years.
In the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami, Takahiro Kondo visited the area to see what he, as an artist, might do to help. Working with a group of local people, he and his assistant Takagi coordinated everyone's efforts to produce some 1200 pieces of functional ceramics in the space of about a month. Participating in the process of making the ceramics has been as important as the works produced, and has hopefully helped everyone involved focus on renewal and hope in the aftermath of the disaster. A small portion of the works produced are now being exhibited and sold, with the proceeds going to two local non-profit organizations:
Mizumori no sato (Shichikashuku) – an environmental education organization based in Miyagi Prefecture whose activities directly support locally affected areas and communities.
Tokyo Jiyu Daigaku – an educational organization that supports “Inochi no utsuwa” by organising programs and other activities.
Takahiro Kondo is a well known artist from Kyoto, working primarily with clay. He has exhibited widely in Japan and internationally, but this is his first exhibition in Wales.
Gallery 2: Shinsuke Iwami
This exhibition introduces Shinsuke Iwami to Wales and the U.K. Born in Tokyo in 1964, Shinsuke Iwami graduated from Tama Art University in 1989. In 1995 he moved to Mashiko to study under Nakayama Hiiroshi and in 1998 set up the ceramics studio ‘yukan’.
Mashiko is a the pottery village in Tochigi Prefecture, 60 miles north of Tokyo. Mashiko suffered considerable damage in the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami, with a number of kilns being destroyed.