Akiko Hirai was born in Japan in 1970. She moved to London in 1999, studying ceramics at the University of Westminster and Central St. Martins. Akiko’s work is a cultural blend of both Japanese and British studio pottery traditions, resulting in asymmetrical, ‘imperfect’ organic forms. The exhibition includes several still life groups of bottle forms in white, black and grey, alongside sensitively rendered domestic pieces, in stoneware and porcelain.
“In this exhibition my still life pieces act as the core of the show. Classical painters transformed objects into a ‘view’. Tea masters discovered a ‘view’ from good chawan made by an anonymous potter. I find beauty in everyday objects and I try to create my own ‘view’ or still lifes. I work with different coloured clay, when these coloured clays are fired, I find that the true nature breaks through the surface, building up subtle areas of colour. The dark clay contains many impurities and when fired in the kiln, a chemical trace of events alters the clay body. White, on the other hand, is more stable because it has a purer clay body and the whiteness becomes more intense after firing. The finished surface is my main concern.” - Akiko Hirai