Ceramics Facing the New
Ceramics Facing the New highlights the significance of clay for humanity while exploring contemporary environmental concerns and disintegration of social structures. Ceramics has become increasingly popular in recent years, and the trend has also found its way to contemporary art. Ceramics Facing the New presents twelve artists and two artist groups specialising in ceramic art, all of whom use materials and techniques in innovative ways and have an eye for topical themes. The exhibition is produced in collaboration with Ornamo Art and Design Finland and is based on an open portfolio call.
The underlying thematic concept in the exhibition is kintsugi, the Japanese tradition of mending broken pottery with gold or some other metal. Instead of concealing the damage, the act of kintsugi establishes a new relationship with it. A fracture can be a signal of something new. “The featured artists share a love for clay but also a need to reinvent ceramic art,” says the exhibition’s curator, Laura Kokkonen of EMMA. The reassessment of traditional methods has led to a search for and adoption of more ecological techniques and the extension of ceramics into spatiality. Themes addressed in the works include ecological disasters and mass extinction, conflicts and their consequences, and transitoriness and loneliness, as well as the vitality of the natural world and connectedness and presence.
The Ceramics Facing the New artists are Priska Falin & Helen Felcey, Veera Kulju, Nathalie Lautenbacher, Piia Lieste, Matias Karsikas, Tiia Matikainen, Meri Oivo, Matteo Pennacchio, Maria Punkkinen, Outi Savolainen, Caroline Slotte, Katie Spragg, Irma Weckman and the Working with Soil collective (Özgü Gündeşlioğlu, Catharina Kajander, Riikka Latva-Somppi and Maarit Mäkelä). The exhibition is on show at the Bryk & Wirkkala Visible Storage space, which showcases the life’s work of Rut Bryk and Tapio Wirkkala. The 2021 theme at EMMA is the power of art. The craft of ceramics is both ancient, topical and rapidly evolving technique and a prime example of the enduring power and adaptability of art.
Ceramics Facing the New is on view at EMMA from 3 May 2021– 28 August 2022.
Exhibition Centre WeeGee
Ahertajantie 5, Tapiola
The extensive mobile guide to the exhibition features background information and interview videos.