Yoko Sekino-Bové, Emerging Artist 2011

Village Expert (Genuine Fake China Series), 5 in. (13 cm) in height, porcelain with sgraffito, carving, brushed glaze, fired to cone 5 in oxidation, with luster, 2011.

It has been sixteen years since I moved to the United States. As I grew older and stopped caring about all the small things that I used to worry about, translating one culture to another and uniting them within my limited vocabulary became my hobby. Then I decided to adapt this approach to ceramics. How can I create ceramic work that unites us, creates a bridge, and serves us all? Can I create craftwork that offers hope to people? Hopefully and possibly in a subtle, personal way?


Second Amendment Urn, 10 in. (25 cm) in height, porcelain with sgraffito, brushed glaze, fired to cone 5 in oxidation, with luster, 2011.

This series is my quiet resistance against the current political situation in our time of isolation and confrontation. It seems like now, more than ever, we can use more reminders about how similar we are—things like small conversations—rather than abstract fear and anger. So my fake China teapots come with two sides: one has a Chinese/Japanese proverb, the other has the English equivalent (or a saying that has the precisely same nuance).


It is my attempt to construct a little shaky bridge over the gap and start conversations about so many profound ideas we share even in different languages and cultures. I hope this series of work will be a good reminder to everyone that no matter the origin, things that appeal to us eventually become universal, if they have a good use. So please use my teapot to serve a cup of green tea, maybe from Starbucks.


The 2011 Emerging Artists are featured in Ceramics Monthly magazine’s May 2011 issue.
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