Tomoko Abe’s Weathering Scape

Tomoko Abe’s approach to clay in many ways echoes our relationship with nature. It is a give and take relationship, complex yet simple, with much that is predictable and much that is not. There is a mutual respect and, every now and then, we have to be reminded not to take each other for granted. In the same way, Abe works with clay’s natural tendencies and, with skilled manipulation and patience, she starts a dialogue with clay and other materials, then she sees where it takes her with anticipation and excitement instead of expectation. For Abe, the working process with the materials is just as important as the end product. “Rather than forcing the materials to fit my intention, I enjoy the interactive process with the medium. The materials speak to me and make me respond to them. The message in my work is rarely my idea alone – rather I wish to coexist in harmony with nature, by listening to the voices of the materials.”