A Japanese Ceramic Exhibition, why?
May be since Ceramics are a major art in Japan.
And why Madrid?
May be because it’s the 150 anniversary of the relationship between Japan and Spain.
May be because my lifetime took me to the country of the rising sun to meet its great artists, sharing with my friend Álvaro Alcázar our interest in art.
Surely because every morning we may reinvent ourselves with a new adventure.
Our life is dual. An exchange between countries, Orient and Occident, Japan and Spain, a reciprocal friendship shared between two artists Philippe Barde and Toshio Matsui, incited us to show these new Japanese ceramics to Madrid.
Ceramics are earth and fire, ancient and primitive but in Asia and of course in Japan, they are the mirror of a culture.
Each clay belongs to a specific place which has its telluric history: its geology, its properties, its qualities and different malleability.
Fire, burning sometimes for a week is a force like an earthquake or a volcano but always part of everyday life . As one opens the kiln there is always doubt: how did the stoneware react, how did the ashes burn the piece and reveal new colours, what dissolved under the heat.
Ceramics are vital, physical and mental. In Japan, people accept to live with natural elements and allow themselves be annihilated by universal force. There is always an acceptance without rebellion of the environment as part of the universe.
In this art, the ceramist, despite his knowledge, his technic and experience, is always at the mercy of fire, water and clay… Every piece displayed today is a victory.
This art is a philosophy, the representation of a way of life. . It expresses the meaning of religion (Zen) through the tea ceremony which also lends beauty to the everyday. The object and its use participate in an aesthetic act. Each piece fulfils its function as it evolves… Actually chawans or tea bowls are not always fit for a ceremony. But this research, both material and intellectual is a modern display governed by qualitative norms inherited from a long tradition.
Its beauty is imperfect, never symmetric, resulting in the representation of an uneven and magnificent world.
Contemporary ceramics are representations of the world, combining to reveal a duel or a challenge with universal energy: Earth- Fire- Man.
This exhibition is an exploration, demonstrating how two well-known ceramists artists Philippe Barde and Toshio Matsui, both University professors collaborated in many projects throughout their life.
One comes from the Occident, Switzerland, the other from the Orient, Japan.
But both share the same love of clay, the pure essence of our earth, with the same tradition, culture and magnanimous will to reach the limits of their investigation.
Their fabulous complicity incited them t found the PT Project where they intermingled and shared works for over 20 years. They represent the duality: Orient and Occident, an intellectual and technical union focusing on the same search. It is a friendship beyond self interest, creating and sharing pieces, in unison.
— Caroline Caffin.