Harumi Nakashima

Japanese artist Harumi Nakashima creates free-form ceramic sculptures that feature organic, yet psychedelic characteristics. Nakashima, mostly known for beautifully-structured, odd geometric shapes embellished with iconic polkadots, works with a level of intricacy that demonstrates the artist’s attention to detail. The sculptor often evokes the Sōdeisha art movement, a 1940s reactionary effort against the dominion of Japan’s popular folk-craft styles (especially the traditional, functional aspects of Japanese pottery) and ceramics created for the purpose of tea ceremonies. Sōdeisha, known for its modern take on traditional Japanese aesthetics, was disbanded in 1998. However, artists like Nakashima have thrived tremendously by incorporating Sōdeisha references into their current pieces. A contemporary aesthetic and subtle, refined references to traditional Japanese pottery allow the works to be perceived aesthetically rather than functionally.
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Title: Blue Dots
Artist: Harumi Nakashima
“Blue Dots” reflects Nakashima’s interest in Sōdeisha, a movement among Japanese ceramicists working in the 1940s through 1950s that embraced biomorphic, sculptural forms over craft-inspired, functional ones. The work features a series of tumescent forms that swell from the surface of a gently curved slab of porcelain. It was hand-built, an impressive achievement given its irregular, bulging forms. Nakashima plays with positive and negative space–the work curves in and out to create shadowy crevices and thin voids that are contrasted against the object’s luminous convex surfaces. Blue dots expand and contract in scale to create a heightened sense of depth and fluid movement. Nakashima’s use of cobalt blue over-glaze recalls the Japanese sometsuke tradition.
Title: Blue Dots No. 0403
Artist: Harumi Nakashima
“Blue Dots” reflects Nakashima’s interest in Sōdeisha, a movement among Japanese ceramicists working in the 1940s through 1950s that embraced biomorphic, sculptural forms over craft-inspired, functional ones. The work features a series of tumescent forms that swell from the surface of a gently curved slab of porcelain. That the piece was hand-built is an impressive achievement given its irregular, bulging forms. Nakashima plays with positive and negative space–the work curves in and out to create shadowy crevices and thin voids that are contrasted against the object’s luminous convex surfaces. Blue dots expand and contract in scale to create a heightened sense of depth and fluid movement. Nakashima’s use of cobalt blue over-glaze recalls the Japanese sometsuke tradition.