[IHJ Artists’ Forum/ Artist Talk]
Telephone Game

※The event has eneded.

  • Friday, August 17, 2023 7:00 pm (Doors open at 6:30 pm)

  • Venue: Lecture Hall, International House of Japan
  • Speaker: Lee Somers (Ceramic Artist; U.S.-Japan Creative Artists Program Fellow)
  • Language: English (with consecutive interpretation)
  • Co-sponsored by the Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission
  • Admission: Free (reservations required)

In this Artist’s forum, Lee Somers, a fellow of the U.S.-Japan Creative Artists Fellowship Program, will examine Japanese ceramics as a centuries-long “telephone game,” resulting in an eclectic and diverse range of expressions from raw to refined.

In the schoolyard game, a child whispers a message into the ear of another, who passes it to the next, and so on. Interpreted by dozens of small ears and mouths, the message emerges with an entirely new meaning. Historically, Japanese ceramics cultivated new meanings from outside messages, rooting them in native soil and producing an astounding variety of unique results. More recently, the popularity of the Mingei movement brought Western potters and ceramic artists to Japan in the middle of the 20th century. Many went on to write books and teach at prominent institutions in the West, where students of ceramics can still hear a Japanese accent in the whispers on the telephone line.

Using the Six Ancient Kilns as a framework for travel and research, Lee Somers visited ceramic sites and museums throughout Japan. In this talk, Lee will share some of his thoughts and experiences on his journey to find meaning in the messages, reflecting on how it will shape his practice as an artist and educator.

Registration: PEATIX / web form