My art and Magritte

Contemporary ceramic artist| BLOG


My art and Magritte

I first became interested in art when I was in the 3rd grade of elementary school.
By chance I happened to come across Magritte’s work in one of my lessons.

Due to the influence of my art teacher mother, I was occasionally seeing foreign paintings such as Impressionism and also Japanese exhibitions in Tokyo galleries,but I did not have much interest in paintings until then.

One time, we had a drawing lesson at school called “Let’s collaborate with masterpieces”.
I was looking for a picture to use as a motif in a book of famous paintings at the school library.

Then I found a book of paintings by “Rene Magritte
For those of you who don’t know, Rene Magritte was a Surrealist painter.
Even if you do not know his name, I think that everyone has seen his work somewhere.

As a young girl, I was very shocked when I was Magritte’s paintings.
This was because he was painting things that could not exist in the real world.

“It would make art galleries interesting if I could see paintings like this” I thought.

Rene Magritte『Explanation』
quoted from Digiart Fukuoka

For my task I selected a painting called “Explanation” from the book on Magritte.
It shows a beer bottle where the top half has become a carrot.
As a child, I was very fascinated by that painting.

The reason was that it had no meaning.

There didn’t seem to be any connection between the painting and its title, and I could not imagine why a beer bottle and a carrot were put together.
I was full of excitement to come across new things.

Since then I have always liked Surrealism, and I thought I would like to make art that surprises everyone in this way.
My childhood dream was to be a painter.
After I started going to an art cramming school, I realised I do not have a good sense for painting (bitter smile).

I have other reasons for being attracted to Magritte. Instead of the sharp genius seen in paintings from another Surrealist master Dali, Magritte’s paintings leave you with a soft impression. So when I look at them I calm down.

Unlike other prominent artists who often lived a flashy lifestyle of debauchery, Magritte lived a middle class life and spent his life with only one woman (his wife).
Apparently his work was all made in the corner of the kitchen.
I feel a sense of familiarity with this stable lifestyle and ordinary people.


I ended up going down the path of fine art.
It was the influence of my mother who was studying oil painting.
When I was a junior high school student, I was learning how to sketch in the fine art and painting class.
I liked drawing pictures of things like manga, but drawing sculpture and still life so interesting to be honest.
Until my university entrance exam I was going to be stuck with these two things, however…

In high school I entered the fine art and design department of Sakushin academy.
This period was the most enjoyable time of my life!
Until then I had never met friends with the same hobbies, but geeks from various schools were gathered together, and the best thing was like we all shared the same interests without having to hide ourselves.
At this time I also saw work from a wide range of artists including paintings by Surrealist painters.
I was lucky to be able to do these things with my classmates.
My classmates at this time were all involved in many activities.

So during my two year period preparing for my entrance examinations, I went to various exhibitions, saw all sorts of artwork, and my life was so rich in art that I was even dreaming about it.
I had some ups and downs but decided to take the entrance exams for the craft arts, even though I did not have much of an interest in the crafts.
Due to my potter father’s influence I always wanted to do ceramics, but my favourite was modern fine art.
Most of my friends were people in the oil painting department, and I think my preferences matched that of those people.

After two years preparing for the entrance examinations, it was a clear day and I entered Tokyo National University of the Arts.
However, I noticed this after enrolling,

My tastes are not suited for crafts at all!

I carried on pretending day by day. Still, I made some effort to try and adapt somehow.
I looked at works I liked such as Art Nouveau, Art Deco etc.
I learned a lot and enjoyed spending time going to the exhibitions with my friends.

However, “fashionable” did not suit me after all.

I realised that I was not looking for something “beautiful”or “fashionable”.
For example, rather than Vermeer, I like Jackson Pollock.
It is more important to express something than to be beautiful.
I thought I would like to make work with a bit more of a punky spirit.

Also, another point that is very important to me
– crafts do not have any “mystery”, instead they are completely “mystery-less”.
Also they do not have enough “humour”. They are too serious.
I could not find the mysterious world view created by Surrealist artists in the world of crafts.

In the three-dimensional composition section of the entrance exam for the crafts department of Tokyo National University of the Arts, you could only compose pieces made from arrangements of real life. But why can bananas not stand upright? Why do hand have to have five fingers?

Well, I did not want to fail the exam so I followed the rules of the entrance examination. But if I followed such rules in my own work, I thought it definitely would not be fun.

After that, I majored in pottery at university, where my assignments were a series of tasks on the pottery wheel. During the final stages of university life I realised that containers cannot express their own thoughts.

After all, like when I first saw Magritte’s work,
I thought “I want to make mysterious and interesting artwork”.
And ceramics are good as they are neither flat nor just raw materials.

This was the time when my general direction was decided, and I started to make ceramics that were a little bit magical.