Ceramics Monthly: The figures you make have been described as both observant and self reflective, and the groupings often include both generalized types based on your memories and experiences along with specific portraits of real people or figures from art history. Why do you choose to mix both the general and specific in terms of the characters who form your narrative groupings?
Akio Takamori: I am interested in ordinary people who have their own individual dignified life but are also members of the collective humanity. My figures fluctuate between these two contradicting entities as ordinary people do. In my figures, the face represents the individual with the body generalized to represent the larger context of humanity.
CM: Why do you choose to work at a scale that is either smaller than life size (between ¼ and ¹⁄3 life size) or occasionally larger than life size?
AT: I like my figures to be modest and non challenging in scale as ordinary people. They are larger than figurines but smaller than life-size people. I make larger-than-life-size figures to represent people who would be under represented, to emphasize their presence. Also, the scale will be considered by the environment and the space where my work is placed.
Subscriber Extras: Archive Article
Click here to read the archive article of the “Upfront,” from the April 2010 issue by Matthew Kangas.