May 19 – June 17, 2023

Large Gallery

Japanese Views

Glenn Lewis + Naoko Fukumaru

Artist Talk + Reception: Friday May 19th at 5pm

Glenn Lewis and Naoko Fukumaru began ceramic collaborations in early 2020 with Fukumaru applying Kintsugi mending to ceramics either made or collected by Lewis. Kintsugi is a five-hundred-year-old Japanese method of mending damaged ceramics using special Urushi tree sap (lacquer) dusted with gold powder to highlight (rather than hide) restorations.

Glenn Lewis is greatly influenced by Japanese aesthetics which provides a path through everyday experience to understand and feel joy in the simplest things rather than trying to fit formalist abstract conceptions into his life. He works in particular with ceramics to accomplish and appreciate these goals. The work produced within this Japanese sensibility and poetical perception, however, is not necessarily traditional, but, indeed, can be contemporary and very innovative. Lewis will display ceramic artworks made during his art residencies in Shigaraki and Bizen in 2014-15, and other works influenced by Japanese aesthetics. These two ceramic centers in Japan date from the 12th century and still produce pottery using the same materials, methods, and wood-fired kilns. Lewis was very interested in experiencing this rare ancient milieu and absorbing it in his work and knowledge.

Naoko Fukumaru will include several Kintsugi works applied to broken ceramics that were made by Lewis (or collected by him). Fukumaru is greatly inspired by working closely with Lewis. His stories and works have brought inspiration, expanded her practice, and given her the challenge to push beyond Kintsugi traditions in innovative new ways.

The exhibition will also include photographs of Japanese gardens taken by Lewis. For many years Lewis has been exploring the relationship between the mythologies of paradise and gardens that he has expressed mainly in photographs of the elements found in gardens. He has identified these nine elements as Bewilderness, Gateways, Utopiary (memories of the things, animals, and humans), Pathways, Waterways, Sacred Trees, Sacred Mounts, and Grottos. The Japanese have built renowned gardens that express their great reverence for nature, and like gardens in other cultures, you will find gates, bridges, stepping-stone paths, ponds, etc.