Body Language: Figures in Clay

February 4 - March 9, 2013

Tomoko Nakazato

Tomoko Nakazato creates animated ceramic sculptures that encapsulate her love for all things cute, animation, and West coast funk ceramics. There is childlike playfulness, oddity, and enigma in her work. Yet, to use prescribed terms such as figurative or narrative is to fail in capturing how original and quintessentially contemporary Nakazato's artwork is.
Where there is cuteness, Tomoko delivers it with a cheek pinching sort of jaded mischievousness.  The fragility of cute pretense gets mocked by crudeness or grossness that her artwork also presents in itself.  Distilling down the complexity of her visual language, Nakazato leaves her audience with the sense of implosive contradictions and creative predicament.

Nakazato grew up in Tokyo, Japan, and moved to San Francisco, California in 1996.  After graduating from San Francisco State University with MFA, she has received Artist Residency opportunities at Headland Center For the Arts- Marin County California, and Holualoa Foundation For arts and Culture- Hawaii. She has exhibited her artwork nationally.

Murder! Murder! Murder! of Crows, Clay, glazes, underglazes


Artist's Statement

In a post modern world of globalization in U.S.A. and Japan, popular culture, materialism and consumerism are the leading moral and family values destroying the life and natural environment of this planet to the points of no return.  I feel as if I exist in a world that seems to be in a constant state of flux. I am lost in an ever-morphing entity, which is full of blinking visual pow!, drips of fantastic plastic colors, and glossy gobs of melting patterns and symbols. Such visual blings are all advocating for temporary, disposable, and instant gratifications. I indulge in such temporary sense of forever, but I am often left with a feeling of void and isolation, so brutal that nothing feels endearing and everlasting.
 I am compelled to express such experiences of existing in the 21st century visually. Clay is a material so malleable and recyclable, yet when fired, becomes ceramics that is solid, permanent, and fragile. I like working with the concept of contradicting yet coexisting natures of the material.  What I create reflects the contradictions and polarity of life I witness in my reality. My sculptures are often innocently precarious, irrational in nature, and grossly jaded. It mirrors my metaphysical reactions to the predicament of today's self and earth-destructive mass-consumerism.