Shino Takeda is an artist who seemed destined to be a ceramicist but took a circuitous route to do so. When she was a child growing up on Kyushu Island in Japan, her mother collected ceramics and integrated these objects into the family’s everyday life. In 1997, at the age of 20, Shino—who was named after her mother’s favorite ceramics glaze—moved to New York to pursue dance. She soon realized that dancing was not for her and worked in the culinary world, becoming a manager at a sushi restaurant. This experience further informed her love of ceramics as both decorative and functional. She also collected ceramics, but did not begin working with clay until 2010. Just two years later, Takeda would make the shift to become a full-time artist.
Shino Takeda makes her vessels using the coil method and several different clay bodies. Her ceramic pieces are glazed with bold and muted colors to create abstract designs that are charming and playful. She continually searches for “perfect imperfections” in her works, evoking ideas of wabi-sabi. Her inspirations stem from the natural world and a sense of her interior self. She consciously works to express the color of feeling in her work, producing ceramics that are at once whimsical, thoughtful and functional.
For Hard/Cover, Takeda took much inspiration from the post-war artist Toshiko Takaezu (1922—2011), who was an Artist-in-Residence at FWM from 1989-1991 and is also included in the exhibition. Takaezu was instrumental in bringing ceramics into the paradigm of fine art. She is best known for her large ceramic closed spheres, known as Moons, that became surfaces on which the artist abstractly and gesturally painted her glazes. For Takaezu, the opportunity to collaborate with FWM ushered in the idea of a “soft” moon made of linen and printed in saturated tones.
Shino Takeda similarly expanded her practice during the course of her residency at FWM. She collaborated on a yardage design with the artist pair Mark Barrow and Sarah Parke—known as Barrow Parke—responding to their yardage by monoprinting over their pattern, bringing her bold gestures and mark making to Barrow Parke’s soft and subtle design. This yardage then became the backdrop for the display of dozens of Takeda’s miniature ceramic vessels. The artist’s printed fabric and ceramics are interwoven to beautiful effect, echoing her identity as both Japanese and a New Yorker.