movie day: Forms In Succession #5

Porcelain sculpture by Shigekazu Nagae, ‘Forms in Succession #5’, 2011, Powerhouse Museum Collection.

beautiful porcelain sculpture, Forms in Succession #5 created by
Japanese potter Shigekazu Nagae dances beautifully in this video. The
paper look-alike form somehow evokes the aesthetics of origami, Japanese
paper folding. Made by using slip-cast techniques, the porcelain speaks
of its origin yet shyly introduces itself to international audiences.

piece was recently acquired by the Powerhouse Museum, supported by The
Ceramic Collectors Society in Australia. It was made in the pottery town
of Seto, known for centuries as the cradle of Japanese utilitarian
ceramics. The family of the artist Shigekazu Nagae (born in 1953)
produced thousands of cheap slip-cast porcelain bowls and plates. As a
youth, this made the artist feel inferior to individual potters who
hand-crafted their ceramics. After graduating from the Seto Ceramics
Training Institute, Nagae saw unique artistic possibilities in
slip-casting, which he thought other techniques such as wheel turning or
hand-coiling could not achieve. He thus created his distinctive
sculptural series ‘Forms of Succession’ of which this work is an
excellent example. The Museum acquired the object as a good example of
how an innovative idea enables an artist to adapt conventional
production techniques, in this case slip-casting, to create new art
forms. In addition, the beauty of the piece would no doubt be highly
admired and enjoyed by Museum visitors.

This video suggests a
new way of museum presentation that differs from conventional methods of
display and interpretation. Museums research, collect, document,
conserve and display objects. But in this contemporary society, we are
not only able to display objects in glass showcases but also in the
digital world in a creative manner. In order to enhance understanding of
the piece, we decided to film the beauty of the object and to allow it
to speak for itself. Thanks to the photographer, Geoff Friend and film
producer Leonie Jones for sharing this small experiment!!

Min-Jung Kim, Curator, Asian Arts and Design, Powerhouse Museum, Sydney