We spoke with Yoshimi Azuma about his experience as an independent ceramist.
Do you incorporate into your clay work what you studied in Paris? Are you also inspired by your education in Kyoto?
What I experienced in Paris is very important for my work now.
By looking outside of my country, I first noticed the unique culture of Japan and I came to think about my identity as Japanese. I feel more respectful about Kyoto and I am more proud of the culture of Kyoto, my birthplace.
I think that the tradition technique of the Kiyomizu ware is extremely present and important for my work.
Being an independent clay worker, I have to do everything by myself, including facilities. If I don't work, nothing begins.
Pottery work is like growing plants: it is necessary to be friends with the seasons and te weather.
What did you do after your graduation, and which difficulties did you meet?
Being an independent clay worker, I have to do everything by myself, including facilities. If I don't work, nothing begins. Since I became independent, I learned and progressed according to my imaginations, to understand how to start from the beginning. In the case of ceramic art, I think that facilities and space are difficult to have.
What are the channels to promote your business?
Exhibitions, orders by customers at shops, commission sales...
Do you feel more an artist, a craftsman or a balance between the two ?
It is hard to answer. However, I do all by myself: I take good care of every single object I make. When I create my piece, object or container, I always make it with the same feeling.
So I can be flexible to be both way.
What passion drives you, inspires you or motivates you?
I always get power from the greatness of natural beauty. The relationship between the technique of the hand and the creativity of the mind is increasingly difficult to handle...
Pottery work is like growing plants: it is necessary to be friends with the seasons and te weather. Even when my hands and heart seem ready to start creating, I don’t start anything when soil is unpleasant. I feel like a farmer, so try not think in too difficult a way - I harmonize with nature.