Art Neo-archaeology in the works of En Iwamura
Artart

Neo-archaeology in the works of En Iwamura

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Tommaso Berra
En Iwamura | Collater.al

The void, the space it creates between two objects or elements is a key concept in Japanese culture, as well as in the art produced by the artists of that country. The concept of Ma is an aesthetic and philosophical condition that underlies many works, including those by the artist En Iwamura.
The Kyoto-born artist has reasoned precisely about that physical and temporal moment that is created in his series “Always Lonely”, recently on show at the Ross+Kramer Gallery in New York. The ceramic statues take up ancient objects reinterpreted with a contemporary taste, born, as for many artists in recent years, at the time of the pandemic, when Iwamura, confined to his home, was able to concentrate on defining his own style.

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While waiting to find space, En Iwamura has also explored the best technique for his works, which starts with an initial phase of sketches and then proceeds to model the clay. This material is worked by addition and not subtraction, so the artist can become aware of the layers and change the form to be given to his creations as he goes along. After an initial firing at 850°, the ceramic is coloured with a mixture of powders discovered after many experiments, and then re-fired at 1250° in a kiln that consolidates its hardness and porosity, in a process similar to that used for porcelain stoneware. After cooling, En Iwamura’s works come to life.
The two inspirations behind the sculptures are interesting, the first being some ancient primitive funeral statues with anthropomorphic features in which the artist has seen a very contemporary design. The second is ancient Japanese Jōmon pots, from which Iwamura has taken the continuous lines that define the surface, grooves that cover the entirety of his works, which not by chance are called Neo Jōmon.

En Iwamura | Collater.al
En Iwamura | Collater.al
En Iwamura | Collater.al
En Iwamura | Collater.al
En Iwamura | Collater.al
En Iwamura | Collater.al
En Iwamura | Collater.al

Artart
Written by Tommaso Berra
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