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Folding Forms: The Ceramic Art of Tomomi Tanaka

A piece of ceramic art in pale whiteUntitled

Tomomi Tanaka is a Japanes ceramic artist who uses papery, folding forms to express undulating movement. The artist’s pieces are a beautiful blend of quiet, subtle aesthetics and swift, complicated movements. 

A charcoal-coloured abstract ceramic artwork漲る

It’s fascinating to look at Tomomi’s ceramic pieces -- in many cases, it’s surprising to discover that the work is in fact ceramic. These look like they could be paper, or perhaps pieces of fabric, bundled and folded in on themselves, perhaps concealing some object at their core. The works look delicate to the point of fragility, and yet their small forms have a sort of monolithic presence, as well. 


Tomomi’s ceramic works remind me also of Ikuko Iwamoto, whose ceramic artworks take on the appearance of coral growths or bacteria. Equally, Bent Oaks Pottery’s pieces share a common thread of overlapping and pressed layers, though their earthy, mottled textures are a departure from Tomomi’s serene charcoal and ivory colour schemes.

A pale cream coloured abstract ceramic work心のこり

About the author

Dallas Jeffs Art Writer

Dallas Jeffs is the Editor of Artist Run Website's blog. They hold a degree in Critical and Cultural Practices from Emily Carr University of Art and Design, as well as a certificate in Technical Writing from BCIT. Dallas has a passion for speaking and writing about art, and sharing that interest with others. In their studio practice they are an illustrator and budding tattoo artist, but they consider themselves a writer foremost. If you like art, books and culture with a science fiction twist, check out Dallas' personal blog, HappySpaceNoises or their art on Instagram.

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