Urara Tsuchiya is a Japanese artist living in London. Her artistic expression starts from performance but, following unexpected paths, comes to ceramics. She tells us about herself and her practice. And about her residence in Faenza that, due to lockdown, made her live in Italy much longer than she expected. For sure we will hear about her in the future…
How do you think you can fully express yourself?
I am not sure; I am always a bit restrained I think! Also I don’t really believe in the very authentic self expression somehow…
If you had to choose a symbol to represent yourself, what would it be?
Some sort of sponge? I don’t know!
If you could subvert the rules, which law would you overturn?
Border control between countries!
Tell us about your most successful project and your personal way to design.
I don’t know… I think when I did a bar space to put lots of performance works for a month with GI festival it was really successful somehow; not because of what I made but to have a space where lots of people could have an altered experience was really fun… I want to do more of it once Covid situation is over.
What is matter for you?
Something you can work with to express ideas and transform it… I like really tactile things like fabrics, clay, and non traditional art materials.
From performance to ceramics, could you explain us why you use these very different media and what do they mean for you?
I studied Fine Art in Goldsmiths college and Glasgow School of Art; in the UK the most important thing is the actual concept of the work, and the medium always comes second. Though I was always more interested in performance/performative works than working with ceramics, these are the recent developments. I like the temporality of the performative works, but working with ceramics makes you feel more grounded as you need to follow all the different stages of the process, not so much space for whims. You feel like you have actually a job, which feels quite good…
You attended to a residency program in Faenza and you got stuck there because of the lockdown; Could you tell us something about this experience and which is the influence it had on your work?
I think it made my life really simple. Faenza is a small town, so you go to studio every day for 7 hours, have a coffee in between at cafes and check emails, then you go home and eat with friends and family. I realized I don’t need lots of things to live on as I was living with a suitcase of things supposed to be used for one month only. It also made me focus a lot more, I think…
What do you think about collaborations? Is there someone you would like to collaborate with?
I love collaborations. For me it’s about friendship and trust, I also just like having company to exchange ideas, and I’m really interested in how other people works… I will be working again with my friend Ben Toms, and maybe do an animation with Adam Aftanas, I would also like to organize a show together with my very old artist friend Paul Kindesley who I love… I recently met a new friend in Rome, Thomas Defalco, who makes tapestry and performances, we would like to organize a show together next year…
A short-time project and a long-time one you would like to realise.
I want to create a film with my friend Ben Toms next year, and I am invited to go to Mexico for a ceramics residency, there I would like to work on bigger works, like underwater world. I would like to work on stories then shooting a film/creating ceramic works that stem from it.