Ensō, The Work of Ursula Schulz-Dornburg and Taizo Kuroda

Design Exchange featured the presence of a young contemporary gallery at Photo London in May this year. With its selection of eclectic photographs, Tristan Hoare made a strong impression on the art scene in London. This time Tristan Hoare is back with its inaugural exhibition at their new gallery at Six Fitzroy Square. Ensō is an exciting show that combines the both the skills of photography and the craft of producing beautiful, unglazed Japanese Yakishime porcelain.

Ensō is a minimal Buddhist concept that’s defined as a circle that is hand drawn in one or two uninhibited brushstrokes to express a moment when the mind is free to let the body create.

Taizo Kuroda Untitled III (Cracked Bowl III), 2015 Yakishime porcelain

Taizo Kuroda Untitled III (Cracked Bowl III), 2015 Yakishime porcelain

While both artists – Ursula Schulz-Dornburg and Taizo Kuroda – work in different mediums, this show brings together the underlying unity in their work: each of them attempts to reach something that is beyond physical representation. One of the most beautiful aspects of the work is the colour, or lack thereof. Each piece that will be on show masterfully uses the simplest idea of shadow and texture in beautiful, spectral works.

Ursula Schulz-Dornburg Ararat. Armenia. 2006 (01), 2006 Gelatin silver print

Ursula Schulz-Dornburg Ararat. Armenia. 2006 (01), 2006 Gelatin silver print

Ursula Schulz-Dornburg’s investigations take the form of a series of photographs. She develops narrative topographies, often focusing on ancient transitory places, whose combinations build different perspectives and layers. They rarely have people in them, but feel inhabited, they have presence. Something beyond the surface is glimpsed through the repetition of the external forms.

Ursula Schulz-Dornburg Mesopotamia, Irak. April 1980, 1980 Vintage gelatin silver print

Ursula Schulz-Dornburg Mesopotamia, Irak. April 1980, 1980 Vintage gelatin silver print

Taizo Kuroda uses unglazed white porcelain in a similar investigative process. For many years he focused on the same six shapes, working on them over and over again. His latest obsession are cylinders. He describes long days and nights focusing on cylinders trying to achieve the perfect shape. In order to relax between these sessions, he makes tea pots. This is because they have a known structure and rules; a handle, a mouth and a spout. Through these repeated shapes he attempts to go beyond the form. “What I am ultimately looking for is a perfect space. I am not ready yet to make such a form however. With a wheel it is possible to make a piece that is almost perfect, but I cannot allow myself to do that yet.”

Untitled II (Cracked Bowl II), 2015 Yakishime porcelain

Untitled II (Cracked Bowl II), 2015 Yakishime porcelain

Taizo Kuroda Untitled 22 (Flower Vase III), 2015 Yakishime porcelain

Taizo Kuroda Untitled 22 (Flower Vase III), 2015 Yakishime porcelain

Under the informed eye of Tristan and gallery manager and curator Luci Stephens, this exhibition is a celebration of craft, but not in the modern, or traditional sense of the word. Each object is painstakingly thought-over, built and designed. Each one meticulously made and constructed to create a sense of beauty in the barren.

Ensō will run from 16 Sep – 21st Oct at Tristan Hoare

6 Fitzroy Square, London, W1T 5HJ

Words: Josh Plough


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