While some ceramics are inspired by the galaxies above our sky, the ideas for these were born from the sea down below. In her vessel collection Kitsch Kogei, Japanese artist Keiko Masumoto explores the fine line between function and form. And while each piece could be used to pour tea and carry out other practical tasks, they also look like aesthetic works of art.
“I attended tea ceremony courses since my childhood, so I was heavily exposed to Japanese ceramics,” Masumoto says. “My teacher inspired me with her self-made cups. Seeing this, I became interested in the idea of giving form to something while still being able to using it too.”
This time, Masumoto works on this idea incorporating incredibly intricate blue-and-white paint patterns. This decorative style has its roots 14th-century traditional Chinese wares but unlike the strictly utilitarian old pieces, Masumoto’s vases, teapots, and urns have octopi popping out of them. Her contemporary take on ceramics could also be understood as surreal sculptures with coiling tentacles, bloated heads, and ever-watching mystic eyes.
“When magnifying the appearance of the motifs on a vessel, you can achieve a very interesting object questioning the existence of the vessel itself.”