Takemi Tsuruta

Takemi Tsuruta was born September 26th 1976 in Oakland California. All throughout his life, he has been interested in the arts from musical and performing arts to the visual fine arts. Tsuruta’s father, an architect, and mother, an educator and pianist, taught him at a young age to recognize and appreciate different creative outlets and aesthetics. In 2009 Tsuruta accepted a teaching position at Diablo Valley College, and in 2015 with Walnut Creek Community Arts. He currently teaches regularly at both studios. He lives with his love, Leslie, and their two dogs, Rocko and Theo in Clayton California. Ever since he can remember, his family (parents) have always had two different sets of dishes. One was your typical white, mass-produced tableware that was most likely bought from a major department store. The other group of dishes were Japanese and quite different from one another. The Japanese pots were smaller, more colorful, usually not symmetrical and made for a specific purpose (food dish).
Takemi thinks what was interesting to him then, and now, is the didactic between the specificity of the Japanese ware and the generics of the western white ware. It’s this dichotomy or juxtaposition of aesthetics and utility that is explored in his current work. Although his personal fascination with these objects is the primary drive to create them, it is important for him to leave room for the viewer/user to form their own associations and interpretations.
This body of work deals with the idea of a shard and the ability to reveal the interior of a form. This series was inspired by an event in his childhood where he lost everything to a house fire. After the smoked and ashes were cleared, the only thing that remained unscathed were the ceramics. They were chipped and broken of course, but the surface and glazes were intact as if nothing happened. Decades later, he finds himself still being challenged by this force and by the littlest shard for clay.

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