With her new Predictive Dream series the Japanese artist Katsuyo Aoki revives the vanitas vanitatum (all is vanity) symbolism, reminding the viewer that the pursuit of worldly and frivolous purposes will not bring happiness or knowledge.
Her lace-like embellished skulls herald both a memento mori message and an ode to death itself as a natural and beautiful part of our lives, the same aesthetics which served as core-idea for the late nineteenth century symbolist movement in art.
“By citing such images, I feel I am able to express an – atmosphere – that is a part of the complex world in this age. In fact, the several decorative styles and forms I cite simultaneously hold divine and vulgar meaning in the present age, having an irrational quality that contradict each other, which I feel express an important aspect in the contemporary age in which we live,”stated Katsuyo Aoki.
“Also, the technique of ceramics has a tradition that has been a part of the history of decoration over a long time, and I feel the delicateness and fragile tension of the substantial material well express my concept,” added Aoki.
Photo credits: Katsuyo Aoki