for the NPR excerpt reading
FALLING FROM THE TREE
ome to my village, build yourself a house, a studio and kiln
These were the words spoken by Kabumoto Nobuo, my patron to be.
T his is the personal story of the bond between artist and patron , a convoluted relationship that challenges western perception and understanding. It began on the Japan Sea Coast in 1974 and has evolved, and developed over the years. It has become a living saga that continues today, some 30 years later.
Besides being a ceramic artist, I have become somewhat of a story teller and have chosen to write in the manner that I tell stories. The compelling narrative account of this artist/patron relationship is the backbone of the book,
but it is intertwined with poignant vignettes and anecdotes that help the reader to understand the ensuing situation as it unfolds. The book spans the time period leading up to the relationship as well as the aftermath and up to the present. It is compelling because it transcends the delineation of east and west. And yet it speaks to the notion of societal distinctiveness and offers those who have not had
the opportunity to spend time in a foreign culture such as Japan to viscerally live through the experience.
And so began the convoluted relationship that was to ensue for the next 30 years and continues to evolve and to reveal the layers of complexity that are continually being discovered. Whether it is a matter of destiny or synergy or fate, I believe the relationship will continue to evolve, until one of us passes on.
Web design Alexandra Negoita
© Jeff Shapiro 2007