Assistant Professor of Art
Certificate: Architectural Association, London, England
Postgraduate: The DAAD Postgraduate Research Fellowship
Kunsthochschule Berlin-Weissensee / Universität der Künste, Berlin, Germany
MFA: New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University
BFA: State University of New York at New Paltz
A native of Tokyo, Japan, Yuichiro Komatsu holds a B.F.A from the State University of New York at New Paltz and an M.F.A from Alfred University. He also has been granted a DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) Postgraduate Research Fellowship in Interdisciplinary Studies in Art, Architecture and Public Sphere at Kunsthochschule Berlin-Weissensee and Universität der Künste, Berlin, Germany. Currently, Komatsu is an Associate Professor of Fine Art at Columbus State University. He has been granted residencies at European Ceramic Work Centre in the Netherlands, Banff Centre in Canada and FAAP (Fundação Armando Alvares Penteado) in São Paulo, Brazil. His work has been exhibited both nationally and internationally.
Clay is one of the most primitive and versatile of artistic materials, and has been utilized by most civilizations in their cultural expression. The transformation of clay, which is natural and malleable, into ceramics that are cultural and permanent, fascinates me on both the physical and conceptual levels. In a sense, ceramics are our cultural witness, as they reflect, embody and record our cultural and technological development over time. My work investigates the physical, social, historical, cultural and metaphorical aspects of the ceramic medium.
Living and working in contrasting cultural environments in Asia, Europe, and North America has nurtured my sense of curiosity towards spatial boundaries and systems in both domestic and public architectural landscapes. These boundaries/systems sometime seem rather artificial and fragile; my work investigates the ambivalent nature of such boundaries.
While my work is influenced by the simplicity and reductive nature of Minimalism, I also explore the tactile nature of materials and the processes of making objects. One of the fundamental elements of ceramics is the notion of contained space. This space relates to the Japanese spatial concept of Ma, which can be roughly translated into “empty space” and shares the idea found in a “less is more” philosophy. Ma also refers to the simultaneous awareness of form and non-form and a particular consciousness of place. Thus, it can be extended further to suggest or imply an emptiness full of possibilities and a continuum, that spans both space and time.
My work is a search for forms and surfaces that work between the ideas of fragility and permanence through the pursuit of a palpable yet elusive idea of ephemeral beauty.