Masahito SHIHO (Japan)
Project Director of
Design Center Ishikawa
At each International Exhibition of Glass Kanazawa, I look forward to the competition or cooperation between expert glass artists and young glass artists.Artworks created through artists’ years of experience and deeply-held expertise are exhibited side by side with young artists’ profound sensitivity, on the same stage of the Preliminary and the Final Assessments as well as at the Exhibition.
I strongly feel, in such circumstances, that since the beginning of the 21st century on each occasion of this Exhibition, more and more artworks created by young glass artists in Japan, based on their strong concepts and creativity, have attracted public attention, which has expanded their practical possibilities. This fact has much to do with the substantiality of glass art education in Japan in the past few decades, which has resulted in a flowering of young glass artists. I suppose that young talents have blossomed under enthusiastic instructors in Aichi, Akita, Ishikawa, Okayama, Osaka and Toyama prefectures.
I was stunned by the diversity of glass art today. The expression of artworks varies in color, texture, shape, between airy grace and massiveness, transparency and opacity, as well as optical effect. These expressions are impressed on our minds, and many kinds of emotions rise up within us. Some of the works, including the Grand Prize winner, remind us of the earth or minerals.
From those works I strongly experience the materiality of the object, that glass is made up of silica, soda ash, limestone and metal, as well as its spirituality, that ‘glass is born from the soil and goes back to the soil.’
Incidentally, this Exhibition has had some limitations for each artwork in size and weight, which makes artworks with space expression such as installation difficult to be submitted. However, looking at all the submissions, diverse works of great effort show the graceful beauty, purity, appeal, and stylishness of the material glass.
Lastly, I am sorry that some submissions were damaged due to accidents during transportation, and that the glass artist cancelled the Final Assessment and the Exhibition.
On behalf of the Executive Committee, I wish to express my regrets for this situation.