This interdisciplinary studio-based course aims to deepen students' awareness and understanding of Japanese culture through a joint exploration of traditional ceramic techniques and contemplative practice while traveling and working in the Kansai region of Japan. Contemplative practices such as Zen meditation have influenced many uniquely Japanese cultural institutions, including tea ceremony and its ceramic wares, shodo and haiku. With an eye towards this relationship, this course will utilize daily meditation practice in tandem with a selection of related exercises as a complementary framework for studio investigations in clay. Engaging with such practices through both participatory and critical approaches, students will access a more integrated understanding of the culture in which they are immersed for the duration of the course. More broadly, they will develop an experiential awareness of the link between contemplative traditions and creative process.
Weekdays will be comprised of demonstrations and active work time at Kurumaki Studio in rural Nara Prefecture, Japan, where students will develop an understanding of fundamental ceramic techniques using the exceptional local clays. In the final week of the course, students will participate in the collaborative process of firing the resulting pieces in the anagama kiln using traditional wood-firing methods. Weekends will offer opportunities for venturing further afield to visit significant historical, architectural and cultural sites, with scheduled travel to Nara, Osaka, Kyoto and Naoshima.
Permission of instructor required.
Registration begins in October at a time to be announced.
Estimated Travel Cost: $4101.00, airfare not included.