Aesthetic Connotations and Rituals (Spanish)

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(Spanish) My two teachers, I would say mentors, Bernard Leach and Hamada Shoji, who founded a movement in the 1940s, maybe it was the 1950s, the Mingei, which is a philosophical movement that respects the life of the artisan, [and] popular art as support for the aesthetic search of those important artists who came from the school, from the art academy. Am I right? They are based on the simplicity of [both] utilitarian objects and traditional objects in order to be able to elaborate a personal aesthetic discourse. I would say that yes, it is important in an art form such as ceramics not only to mold and carve if we want to be sculptors but also to have the possibility of developing the artistic object, of [its] use, of [its] function, because in that way we are able to understand not only the technique but also something beyond technique, isn’t that so? At times, for wanting to make a totem pole or a big ceramic sculpture that isn’t going to happen, because the hands are not ready, which [is] a [basic] requirement for the ceramist [as well as] repetition and [putting] objects in the oven, and so many things that are important to ceramics, which are needed to make the final product, right? Function is also aesthetic. I am thinking about the Tea Ceremony, those marvelous large cups, they are rice cups that the Zen teachers place much value upon and who see the Korean artisans eat from those large cups, and they [the Zen teachers] decide that this is going to be the utensil in which they are going to serve the ritual tea. Impressive. The large cup is like a chalice, in reality [it] is the chalice. It is the ceremony that we have to talk about, the Catholic ceremony I would say, with the chalice, the consecration. I believe that there is a very strong parallel with the ritual of the Tea Ceremony, and it is there where function acquires extremely important aesthetic connotations, where the object is an object not only of function but also of aesthetic value, of aesthetic action.

Date: December 7, 2007
Location: Lima, Peru
Interviewer: Harumi Nako
Contributed by: Asociación Peruano Japonesa (APJ)

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