Residency Program

Exchange Residency Program (Japan-based creators sent abroad)

update: 2019.3.18


Participating ProjectExchange Residency Program
(Japanese Creators sent abroad)
Activity BasedJapan
City / Place stayedBerlin / Kunstquartier Bethanien
Period2019.4 - 2019.6
Purpose of the residency

I am planning to conduct extensive field work to search out a clay object made by local living creatures, to do a research on traditional pottery techniques, and to combine the local materials with local techniques. Originated in the East, the pottery techniques have developed around the world according to local geological conditions and climate. As the country of Meissen porcelain, Germany is famous not only for pottery but also for good soil. By doing so, I'd like to create a new expression, and desire to take on the challenge of a new creative activity in your residence program.

Plan during the residency

-This project is to obtain the earthworm castings and to put them in a kiln to make a sculptural work.
-Extensive research on geological conditions will be conducted at various locations, and a variety of experiments will be made under different circumstances.
-At the same time, I will explore the history and culture of German pottery and will go on a field trip as many times as possible and obtain as many samples from various parts of Germany.
-The field work and the production process will be recorded and the recorded film and pictures will be displayed with the artwork to show a documentary-like story.
-At the end of this residence, I would like to exhibit works made with the materials I found on the site and present the results.

Activities during the residency

Bringing together the byproducts or traces left by living creatures with the techniques of sculpture in search of new meaning in his art, Ihara focused on the cast of worms as an important factor in the circulation of ecosystems. From a base in Berlin, he traveled to all 16 German states collecting worm cast and dirt samples to study. He created an installation with opposing spreads of raw cast (organic) and fired cast (inorganic), and on the last day of the exhibit held a performance in which a performer walked on the spreads to destroy them and "return them to soil."

worm in progress, earthworm’s casting, burnt earthworm’s casting, 2019

worm in progress, earthworm’s casting, burnt earthworm’s casting, 2019

frame in ground, earthworm’s casting, burnt earthworm’s casting, frame, 2019

frame in ground, earthworm’s casting, frame, 2019

made in ground-gold, burnt earthworm’s casting, glaze, gold,picture, 2019

walk around in Germany, earth worm's casting, 2019

Performance worm in progress
Performance by Shomura Nobutaka (2019.6.23)

Creator Information