Midori Tsukada’s oceanic glass


18 April 2018

Oceans Formed : Glass Works by Midori Tsukada features verdant work in a combination of glass and copper. Shoko Aono shares her thoughts about the series.


When I first saw works by Midori Tsukada, my immediate impressions were of the forest, the wind, and the sea. The refreshing scent of the new leaves experienced when walking through the forest. A form resembling the draping aurora becomes light and stretches freely up into the skies. An organic chaos spreads across the surface of the glass and we feel drawn into the depths of a deep, blue sea. It presents a primitive world that we feel we may or may not have seen before.

When creating her works Midori Tsukada starts by laying copper, silver, gold or other metallic foils on top of a sheet of glass welding them to the surface, various colours and textures being created through chemical reactions within the kiln. Like ceramic glazes, they are free of the artificial control and are the result of an entirely natural mechanism. Midori Tsukada takes the shapes resulting from a dialogue with gravity during numerous firings, then cuts, shaves and polishes them, delicately weaving multiple strata of colour.

It is said that life first appeared on earth as a result of the complicated intermeshing of numerous different elements within the water. Looking at Tsukada’s glass, we are able to visualize just how this must have appeared. The tension and bounty that exists in the moment of birth. The order and capriciousness of the universe. If we strain our ears we can hear the nostalgic sound of the ocean depths.

Born in Gifu, Tsukada studied metalcraft before entering Toyama City Institute of Glass Art, where she pursued her interest in combining glass and metal, completing her studies in 2002. From there, she worked as a researcher at Kanazawa Utatsuyama Craft Workshop, and as a glass assistant at Akita Public Arts and Crafts Junior College of Arts and Crafts. Beginning in 2006, she was the glass studio coordinator at Kanazawa Utatsuyama Craft Workshop, and opened her own studio in Toyama in 2011, where she continues her artistic practice today. She has received many honours and awards, from the International Exhibition of Glass Kanazawa in 2001, the Contemporary Glass Triennial in Toyama in 2002, the 2007 Silver Prize at the International Exhibition of Glass Kanazawa, the 2013 Gold Prize at the International Exhibition of Glass Kanazawa, and many more. Following numerous exhibitions in Japan and Korea, she began showing with Ippodo Gallery in 2012. Her work has been widely collected around Japan, and most recently entered the collection of the Museum of Contemporary Design and Applied Arts in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Oceans Formed : Glass Works by Midori Tsukada is on at Ippodo Gallery New York 24 May – 21 June 2018.

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