Hello, I am back from a round trip journey across the country. I hope to post more about that later. Right now I’m just enjoying a moment of quiet readjustment. The season is changing and it’s time for me to switch gears to my storyboarding job. I feel pretty good. Thought I’d post this image of my sculpture because I just realized it’s about transition.
October 4, 2012
Tomorrow will see the opening of the three person show Ako Ryohei Rob New Work and Then Some at Philadelphia’s Space 1026. The show was curated by our friend the marvelous Kris Chau, who orchestrated this complicated operation from/between at least 3 time zones while she worked and moved across the country. Ryohei Tanaka came all the way from Tokyo with his mom and sister to join up with Rob and I. The 3 of us have been bffs since the end of the 20th century when we met in Oakland, which is where we also met Kris. So this show is a love fest that celebrates friendship that has spanned across oceans and years and is part of the foundation of our creative lives. Rob will be showing recent watercolor and graphite works, Ryohei will be dazzling all with his cut out paper art, and I’ll present fresh from the kiln ceramic sculptures with a smattering of painted stuff.
We started installation last night at Space 1026 where we were lucky to meet some really nice people, including Richy who is helping us with EVERY THING including chocolate covered edamame, and Sean, who wrote an article in the Philly weekly and showed up to hang out and take some photos (which can be seen HERE. Here are a couple shots he took.
Porcelain Pegasus with cargo (according to legend Pegasus carries Zeus’ lightning bolts, but these are just beads)
We don’t know a lot of people in Philly, but we have been supported by an extended friendship web that starts with Kris Chau and spins outward in a magic penny spiral that is very heartwarming to experience. Many thanks to her and her family of friends and Space 1026. I hope we’ll see you at the opening on Friday!
September 27, 2012
I’m slowly expanding my range of surface treatments for ceramics. This is a dizzying world of color and chemistry, with so many variables and opportunities to create beauty and interest it makes me a little crazy.
Above: Sleeping Ginko Vessel and detail.
Milk and Mud Pitcher
These pieces will be on display at Space 1026 in Philadelphia from October 5th through the 26th. >>>LINK<<
September 25, 2012
Eric Nakamura pulled off another tremendous exhibition. This show made me feel the weird love that fuels Giantrobot and makes it a community rather than just another garish retail nexus. A lot of people worked very hard to get this show up and running, not just the artists but a band of dedicated, power drill wielding art lovers and volunteers. The museum staff at JANM was a delight to work with, and they went beyond their jobs to make this show special. I’m grateful to be featured in this show, it’s been an amazing opportunity that pushed me to work beyond my previous limits.
Another thing I really enjoy about this show is sharing a gallery space with Robert Sato, my dearest friend and partner of many years. As artists the development over the years is significant. I’m glad we stuck to it and to each other (more about that when I post about the next show, a three person with myself, Rob, and our super amigo Ryohei Tanaka).
Anyhow, this show will be up until January 20! The turnout for the opening was great, I’m only sorry that I didn’t do a better job promoting it BEFORE instead of after the opening. I was going nuts with the set up!
Big thanks to everyone who braved the crowd and horrible parking situation to come see the show! It means a lot to me to see you there.
Lastly, here’s a shot of Rob and me in fancy dress. As this event is informally known as the GR prom, we got fancy to the max. It was fun.
(Photo by Amanda Francis Movlai)
September 25, 2012
This summer Xiem clay center allowed me to set up on the patio and come everyday for 20 days to build a large version of a 5 inch sculpture I had done earlier. It was the most fun I’ve had working on a project and also the most physically exhausting thing I’ve done since my Lord of the Flies adventure with Outward Bound when I was 15.
Time, space and opportunity coincided almost unbelievably to make this thing possible. Luck was another factor, and so was the generosity of the students, members, and staff at the studio. I was constantly forgetting my camera, so I’m really happy that others were willing to document some of this. Thanks Beth Katz for the progress photos!
These happy days of building were followed by the harrowing period of time when the piece was cut up, disassembled, left to dry, then finally loaded in the kiln to be treated to temperatures of over 2,000 degrees (cone 10). Nightmares kept me company for three weeks. When we unloaded the kiln there was some warping and cracking, but nothing exploded! I rejoice…Nothing exploded or cracked or warped beyond repair. Transporting the pieces to JANM was another bit of risky business, but thanks to Matt all went well. Here’s the guy, like a patient in pieces at the musem:
Here’s what the initial set up looked like, with mixed media treatment around the torso. Changed my mind last minute cause it felt cluttered.
(photo from Giantrobot website)
The Portal (aka Mr. Mojo, aka Kris Chau’s clay boyfriend) will be on exhibit at the Japanese American National Museum until January 20th.
Rob Sato, Kris Chau, Eric Nakamura and Clement Hanami helped me with the final set up. I’m enormously relieved and happy to have seen this through. Thanks to all who offered help and support.
August 21, 2012
August 15, 2012
I have been working on a large scale for the last month or so (not pictured. Secret!). But I remember my tiny world and look forward to returning to it soon.
August 7, 2012
Ceramic sculpture using local clay and commercial clay with Heino matte turquoise glaze.
by me…Ako Castuera
June 25, 2012
I’m taking a break from storyboarding for the summer, and I’ll be deep in clay and paint and hopefully some textile stuff too. In the meantime, images from the last show will be trickling in through here as I organize them.
This is the one of the first things I made with a mix of the clay I dug up and the clay from the ceramic studio. I was so happy to see him come out of the kiln, the clay had transformed from red porous stuff into this beautiful metallic iron colored body, and I set him up like a mascot on my work table. He remains there to deter the fears that loom in my mind when I’m going into a creative head space.
In the studio
I learned the word “psychopomp” after reading a post on the excellent blog erratic phenomena. A psychopomp is an creature or deity who mediates between conscious and unconscious realms, the literal translation is ‘a guide of souls’.
June 14, 2012
TinyShowcase has produced a small edition of prints featuring my painting “Rabbit Run”. The image is printed on heavy 290gsm natural white printmaking paper made from 90% bamboo fibres and 10% cotton. The original painting is a watercolor on paint board, and was made for Giant Robot’s Year of The Rabbit show.
It’s an honor to be part of TinyShowcase. They make art affordable, help artists get exposure and profit from their work, and have a built in donation system for a charity chosen by the artist. The quality is excellent too. Everyone wins!
$250 of sales from this print will go to International Rescue Comittee.
Thank you TinyShowcase, and thanks to those who support them/me!