Mitsuo Shoji, En, 2010, stoneware colour inlay gold and silver leaf, 96cm x 24 cm.
Photograph: Greg Piper
Gaman: Mitsuo Shoji
Gaman, (Japanese: ‘tattoo’ and ‘patience’) is a term which highlights a rare synthesis of surface decoration and form in the artistic oeuvre of ceramist Mitsuo Shoji.
Utilising his fifty years as a professional artist, Shoji inlays Zen-like calligraphic shapes into the surface of hand built sculptures based upon the universal symbols of the square, circle and triangle.
Repetition and patience are a necessary component of this technique, unique to Shoji. Scarification of the leather-hard clay surface is a slow painstaking process, which is Buddhist in its sensibility. Colours are glimpsed through the marks, fracturing and changing as the form twists and turns.
Shojis three-dimensional works are accompanied in the exhibition by his “clay paintings” which echo the universal shapes.
7 December 2018 – 21 January 2019