Satoru Hoshino: Collaboration with Clay
Another artist I’m happy to be featuring in Frank’s International House of Ceramics, Part Three, is the Japanese artist Satoru Hoshino. Born in the Niigata prefecture in 1945, he graduated from Ritsumeikan University in 1971. Although he had already been working in ceramics for 15 years, Hoshino experienced a turning point in his artistic practice when a landslide destroyed his studio in 1986. Witnessing the devastating power of nature led to a change in the artist’s approach to his medium.
Hoshino describes his process as a collaboration between himself and his materials. He does not consider clay to be a passive recipient of his actions, instead conceiving of his work as a dialogue between equal partners. Rather than imposing his own desires on earth and clay materials, Hoshino strives to bring out the inner life of the clay. In an essay for Ceramics: Art and Perception in 2000, he writes that his work “is the result of a joint effort, like that of two people in a three-legged race, between myself and the medium of clay.” His towering coils are imprinted with the mark of his thumb and forefinger, leaving a direct record of his engagement with the material.
Hoshino’s body of work includes large-scale installations that can fill entire rooms as well as more intimate objects that can be held in one’s hands. Leah Ollman wrote in her Los Angeles Times review of Satoru Hoshino’s 2008 solo exhibition that his sculptures have an “air of immediacy, of raw organic matter worked by a reverent hand, of primal forces in concert.” Honoring both the physical properties of the clay and the process by which the material is transformed, Hoshino seeks to reexamine human beings’ relationship with matter and nature. We’ll have three of his stunning works from the Spring Snow series on display in our upcoming show, opening on February 9th.