Japanese-born, Australian-based artist Kenji Uranishi is inspired by fleeting moments in time, place and connection. After an early career of using stoneware clays, Kenji now works predominantly with porcelain, hand-building and slip-casting translucent white architecturally inspired forms, exploring those transient occurrences where the natural and built environments collide – “The fleeting moment when the sun’s rays illuminate a pocket of the city, when the afternoon light falls gently on the bay, refracting and reflecting, or when speckled light and shadows intertwine in the forest”. A meticulous attention to detail is evident in each step of Kenji’s creative process from his carefully hand-carved moulds, to entirely hand-built pieces and his own delicate coloured glazes and home-made slips. The cylindrical shapes and forms in this exhibition begin with creating a hand-carved mould of a single circular sector of the form, a process he learnt from a master mould maker during a residency in Japan. Using this mould, Kenji is able to hand craft and form slip-cast pieces that he then joins together to create complex geometric shapes that explore repetition and pattern as an abstracted whole. His upbringing in Japan continues to inspire his practice. Drawing upon a rich history of Japanese ceramics, as well as contemporary architecture, Kenji creates works with a distinctly modern edge, always paying homage to Japanese artistry of the past. The result is a perfect and harmonious balance of form, light and shadow.
Kenji Uranishi was born in Nara, Japan. After completing a Degree in Fine Art (ceramics) at the Nara College of Fine Arts in Japan, Kenji operated his own home studio, ‘Kenkoubou’, for six years before moving to Brisbane in 2004. Since moving to Australia, he has exhibited regularly, both here and in Japan and has been a prize winner three times at the National Asahi Ceramic Art Competition in Japan. His work is represented in the National Gallery of Australia, Gold Coast City Art Gallery; Newcastle Regional Gallery (NSW), Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences (Sydney), QUT Art Collection, (Qld) and Bendigo Art Gallery (Vic).