About the artist
Kenji Uranishi (QLD) studied at the Nara College of Fine Arts and began his career in Japan working mostly with stoneware clay. A move to Australia in 2004 signalled a critical shift in his practice as he began working predominantly with porcelain, hand building translucent white, often architecturally inspired objects. Kenji’s interest in the wild and unfamiliar aspects of the Australian environment, and the light and patterns in architecture, nature and everyday life began to permeate his artwork. He has an ongoing interest in capturing precious moments in time, the fragility of life and fleeting moments of beauty.
Exhibition work: Where The River Meets The Sea, 2022, porcelain, glaze
I live on the north side of Brisbane on the doorstep of Moreton Bay, an area rich with mangroves. They’ve always fascinated me, these amazing trees that exist in a saltwater environment and whose roots create a tangled web within which an incredible universe teaming with biodiversity exists.
Where mangroves flourish, in a place where the rivers and waterways meet the Bay, I think about the fresh water flowing into this harsh saltwater environment. I imagine the moments these two bodies of water meet as they splash and roll together, moving, connecting and mixing with the ebb and flow of the tides.
This work aims to capture and put into form this delicate water dance. Installed in a circular formation representing a period of time, like a ribbon of film cut from a reel, these individual pieces interlock together and capture the slowed-down moment when these waterways swirl together into one.
I’ve had a wonderful relationship with both the Journal and the Association. Not long after arriving in Australia, I was Artist in Residence at the Australian National University in 2006 where I was warmly welcomed by a number of amazing people connected to the industry and the Association. I was a guest demonstrator at the 2008 and 2015 National Ceramic conferences and delivered a keynote address and demonstration in Tasmania in 2019 at the Conference. I always feel a little nervous before these events, having to speak in English in front of so many people, but the community is incredibly warm and always make me feel relaxed and supported. The Association has expanded my network and given me an avenue to meet up with friends from around the country and to be inspired by their adventurous spirits and dedication to their artwork.
The Journal has also been a wonderful support. I’m so grateful to have had exhibitions featured and little spotlights on my technique etc. For someone who came to Australia knowing not a single person from the ceramics scene, the Association and Journal have played a really meaningful role in connecting me to this amazing country and community and has given me an opportunity to share a little bit about me and my practice. I will be eternally grateful for that.
Image: Kenji Uranishi, Where the river meets the sea, 2022, porcelain, glaze. Photo: Kenji Uranishi.