Aya Murata IN BLOOM

February 10 – March 9, 2024

Press Release

ENTERING A WILD FANTASY GARDEN

Lucy Lacoste Gallery is delighted to announce our current solo exhibition, AYA MURATA: IN BLOOM, with the award-winning ceramic artist Aya Murata from Kyoto, Japan on view through March 9, 2024. This is Aya Murata’s first solo exhibition with Lucy Lacoste Gallery. She was first featured in the 2019 acclaimed group exhibition at the Gallery, Breaking the Ceiling: Japanese Women in Clay where she was one of five distinguished young Japanese female artists including Hiroko Nakazato, Ikuko Ando, Eri Dewa, and Kiyoko Morioka. These are leading ceramic artists of their generation, all drawing inspiration from the natural world and incorporating it in their work with superb skill.

Murata’s intricate and dynamic organic forms vibrate with color and intense energy. This solo exhibition highlights the artist’s complex and layered hand-built sculptures using the Japanese technique known as Nerikomi. Her signature use of the Nerikomi technique, which involves assembling numerous delicately patterned cross-sections of colored clay to shape the component parts, demonstrates her exceptional technical skill and refined spirit. The abstract nature of Murata’s work allows her to conceptually focus on the theme of a universal life force and explore the concept of “poisonous feelings” that are part of life and can serve as a source of human energy to propel us forward.

Murata states: “My work is based on the theme of life force. In the biological world, things with bright and flashy colors are often poisonous, such as mushrooms, frogs, caterpillars, and spiders. But I think that poison is the life force. If I were to compare that poison to humans, I would say that it is jealousy and ambition, which are not generally considered good things. But I think that it is because of these poisonous feelings that humans enjoy life. Without that, I don't think the energy to want to improve and grow upward is born. I would be happy if you could feel that kind of energy from my work.”

Born in Kyoto Prefecture in 1979, Murata completed her education in ceramics at Kyoto College of Arts and the Kyoto Prefectural Ceramists' Technical Institute after studying lacquer painting in high school. Devoted to her art, Murata has since gone on to become a notable figure in the world of ceramics, especially in Japan, Taiwan, and Korea. She was chosen for the World Ceramic Biennale, Korea in 2009 and has been a resident artist at the renowned Archie Bray Foundation. Her works are shown and collected internationally and are held by institutions including the Korea Ceramic Foundation; National Tainan University of the Arts, Taiwan; New Taipei City Yingge Ceramics Museum, Taipei, Taiwan; and The Shigaraki Ceramic Cultural Park, Shiga, Japan.

Murata’s exhibition In Bloom is a unique and captivating experience for those interested in contemporary Japanese sculpture and the public too, for whom it is like walking into a wild fantasy garden. Lucy Lacoste Gallery—whose focus has been ceramics for over 34 years—is known for featuring many notable artists working in clay over the years, making it the perfect venue for this highly acclaimed and unique artist.

Aya Murata 

Born in Kyoto, 1979

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