Islands 2001-2002

Islands, 2002


by fionn meade

Yuki Nakamura’s previous works, mostly ceramics, insist upon a formal reticence; the personal is placed into strict parameters. Islands, for instance, floats familiar outlines of the world’s iconic islands, such as Australia or Cuba, into juxtaposition with more personal destinations, including the artist’s native island, Shikoku, and islands from the Puget Sound region where she currently resides. Immaculately crafted, these box forms stand apart in a beautifully choreographed estrangement; the intimate, experienced shape resides alongside the universal signifier. Many of Nakamura’s other sculptures rely on a similar trajectory, as personal reflection is encoded within and often hidden next to widely understood symbols.

Islands, 2002

Porcelain, refelective glass beads

6(h) x 178(w) x 108(d) in

Islands consists of 14 porcelain boxes with images of islands and inland seas to create a fictional atlas.   Each box adds detailed boundaries of islands and inland seas – positive and negative spaces to a complex larger puzzle.  I question the tenuous relationship between two worlds: the internal world of one’s self, and the external world of cultural façade.  Micro and macro worlds are constantly shifting and scale and context are blending into reality and unreality.

SplitIslands, 2003

Porcelain, resin, pigment

8.5(h) x 52(w) x 4(d) in

Double Shikoku,2001

Porcelain, Red Glaze

7(h) x 7(w) x 4(d) in

Island Pillows, 2003

Porcelain, seven components

Tacoma Art Museum, Gift of the artist and David Lewis in honor of Kent Lewis and Claire Eileen Osband-Lewis


Three Islands (Blue),2003

Porcelain, Glazes

8(h) x 7½(w) x 4(d) in

Three Islands is overwrapping remembrance islands and inland seas; Antarctica, Lake Victoria, and Kodiak.