It’s not easy to write about art.
Art is highly subjective after all, and I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a complete plebeian when it comes to art. But someone much wiser than I once said that art is supposed to make the viewer feel something – and I certainly had a lot of feels when I discovered Katsuyo Aoki’s porcelain skulls.
Aoki is a Tokyo native, and completed an MFA in Ceramic Art from the prestigious Tama Art University in 2000. Since then, she has showcased her porcelain work in solo and group exhibitions all over the world – and she shows no signs of slowing down just yet.
Aoki’s Predictive Dream Series
Here are some of the porcelain skulls I mentioned earlier. Personally I think they’re quite disturbing; they remind me of the skulls of bone cancer patients. Despite that, they are highly detailed and even quite beautiful, and if nothing else I think Aoki’s skill in creating them is nothing short of impressive.
There are a few that seem to have been inspired by pointy helmets like the Pickelhaube. Check out the side-by-side comparison below, between one of her skulls and a photo of Otto von Bismark.
Likewise, other skulls seem to have been inspired by crowns. Have a look at the following skull. Don’t you think that central, oval-shaped jewel looks kind of like the centerpiece of the Russian Imperial Crown?
Some of Aoki’s skulls sprout curling, ram-like horns, like the ones below.
I don’t quite know what to make of the rest of her skulls. One, for example, seems almost cat-like. Another looks like the skull’s face is melting off – but that’s impossible, right, it hasn’t any flesh to melt off in the first place! Well, they still look pretty neat in any case.
Then there’s this one. I can’t help but think Aoki was just having a laugh when she made it. Is that a faceless kewpie doll standing at attention?
Aoki’s Other Works
Aoki’s quite prolific and she’s produced other porcelain pieces as well. If you liked her skulls and are raring for more with the same sort of flavor, check out her site. Notable mentions include her disembodied horse’s legs, or the strangely titled “Chicken Poet.”
So what do you guys think? Is it art? Would you consider having some of her skulls at home? Let us know in the comments!
Images of porcelain sculptures are from Katsuyo Aoki’s site.