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Someone who fills the void with light.
光を満たす − 熊谷 峻

14 May 2021

Someone who fills the void with light.

 いつの時代、どこの国のものともつかない骨董品のような壺や盃。エキゾチックな佇まいの分厚いガラスが鈍い光を湛える姿に、国境を越え、人々が惹きつけられる。「作ることは祈ることに似ている」と話すグラスアーティスト・熊谷 峻は秋田県出身。冬には豪雪となる東北の、薄曇った空の中性的な美しさと、作品の持つ雰囲気とが重なる。

Photo: Masashi Kuromoto (STUDIO crossing)
Interview, Edit: Misa Kuromoto

Shun Kumagai's studio is located in a corner of a residential area near the station in his hometown of Akita City, Akita Prefecture. The studio he shares with his wife, Ms. Sakaida, who is also a glass artist, is a glass-enclosed space with beautiful natural light, facing a garden where seasonal plants are pleasing to the eye. Daily production takes place here.

His works are produced using a method called casting, in which a plaster mold is created from wax and glass is melted into it. The hand-twisted shape is somewhat distorted, creating a mysterious presence. His works, which are often inspired by old tools, antiques, and literature, are shaped like a mixture of old items from various countries.

Convection currents and changes in the glass that occur in the 1000°C kiln give expression to the work, much like a kiln change in pottery. While technically controlling the glass, he also gives unexpected changes and accents to himself with earth and metal. The layering of colors created by the reaction gives the work a beautiful complexity. Its appearance is reminiscent of old things that you may have seen somewhere, but it is also modern, and many people will feel that they are seeing it for the first time.

The light of the glass filled with cavities in the mold. Kumagai calls it a kind of “joy”. Pots and sake cups, large and small, may be because they are "fulfilled things" that we feel spiritual beauty like hope and will.

Artist Profile
熊谷 峻

1983年 秋田県生まれ。2006年 秋田でガラスを学ぶ。2012-2016年 富山ガラス工房所属。2017年 秋田に戻り制作を行う。ガラス鋳造の技法を展開させ、主に器や像を制作。熊谷峻の作品は、蝋で作った形を石膏型に起こし、そこにガラスを溶かし入れる鋳造という手法で製作される。1000℃の窯の中で起こるガラスの対流や変化は陶芸の窯変のようなもので、コントロールできない想定外の部分に依るものがある。厚く流し込まれたガラスは光を溜めて、表面に焼き付けられた土や流し込まれた金属と重なりながら複雑な景色を作り出し、その姿は古代ガラスや廃墟を想わせると同時に、新たな光や希望を湛えている。GALLERY crossingでの主な個展:2019年「祈りの痕跡」、2020年「Vessels Brimming with Light. 光を湛える壺」。

Artist Profile
Shun Kumagai

He was born in Akita, Japan, in 1983. After completion of his degree in glass in Akita, he worked with glass in Toyama for 5 years. Hemoved his base to Akita in 2017 and currently works in his own glass studio. Bright scenery at the end of a prayer. His work is created by first making a prototype with wax, then using that to make a mold out of gypsum, and finally pouring cast glass onto the mold. The convection current and changes to the glass inside the kiln cannot be controlled and forms the element of surprise. The thick layer of glass poured onto the mold stores the light and mix with the clay glazed on the surface and the metal poured into it to form a complex scenery. While it is reminiscent of ancient glass and ruins, it is also full of new light and hope. 

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