The Delicacy of Nature in Porcelain

March 2019

Yuri Fukuoka, “Flower Floating in the Lung 1,” ceramic, 4.25″ x 4.25″ x 5″.

The Delicacy of Nature in Porcelain
Yuri Fukuoka’s nature-based sculptures are introduced in Santa Fe
February 24, 2019 by Emily Van Cleve ‘Santa Fe Arts Journal’


“Dreaming, David A. Clark & Introducing Yuri Fukuoka” showcases encaustic paintings by Clark and delicate ceramic forms by Fukuoka and opens at OTA Contemporary on March 1.

While Clark has been a mainstay at the gallery, Fukuoka’s work is new to Santa Fe audiences.

“I’m interested in small daily changes in nature,” says Fukuoka via email from Japan. “If my work gives beauty to the viewer, it is my pleasure.”

Fukuoka was born in Osaka, Japan surrounded by paddy fields, mountains and a nearby river. Among her greatest joys were watching the sky and gardening. Life was carefree until she suffered from an illness that brought her close to death. Rediscovering happiness after her recovery became a foundation for her future work in ceramics.

“I am interested in the sky, space, nature and happiness,” she says. “Their harmonious map seems to be living inside all of us.”

Fukuoka studied ceramics at Kyoto City University of Arts and earned a master of fine arts degree under the tutelage of Yo Akiyama. She has taught ceramics through residencies at institutions around the world. Lately, she’s reduced her teaching schedule and been concentrating on creating new work, including thin, nature-based porcelain sculptures.

To begin the creative process, Fukuoka rolls porcelain as if she is making a pie. “Another technique is my top secret,” she explains. “I needed a long time to figure it out.”

Clark also has spent numerous hours experimenting with the materials he uses to create his encaustic paintings that explore themes related to humanity’s journey. He often creates his monoprints on kozo paper, which is made from the kozo bush, and gampi paper, which is made from a fiber imported from the Philippines.

Clark has had his work featured in more than 40 solo and group shows across the country and included in many corporate and private collections. He’s an active teacher and lecturer who works out of a studio in Palm Springs, California.