Tanaka Yu Ceramic Works

Kyoto-based ceramic sculptor Yu Tanaka makes you think that these are cloth bags with something in them. But don’t let the satin-like textures fool you. She made all of them out of clay.

We met Yu at a campfire in July and she told us how she fell in love with the softness and moldability of the material. She even installed an electric kiln at home just so that she could experiment more.

The result is this remarkable series of “bags containing something”. Contrary to their names, these “bags” have nothing in them. They trick your mind in all sorts of ways. You expect the surfaces to be smooth, but they are not. The evenness of the bright colors appear to the effect of an even application of one color, but look closer and you’ll see tiny specks of spray paint. And once you know they are made of clay, you’d imagine that they would weigh a ton. But they don’t.

Tanaka Yu Ceramic Works
Tanaka Yu Ceramic Works
Tanaka Yu Ceramic Works
Tanaka Yu Ceramic Works
Tanaka Yu Ceramic Works
Tanaka Yu
Tanaka Yu Ceramic Works

These photographs are from Yu’s recent exhibition at Takashimaya Kyoto. You can find more photographs on her portfolio site.