Presented by Contemporary Crafts Centre
Colours of Akita
Glass Art by Shun KUMAGAI
Contemporary Crafts Centre
Shop H, Hollywood Building
186 Hollywood Road
30.7 – 15.8.2021
12nn - 6pm, Tue - Sun
Mon by appointment
Read this article: Everything is unpredictable before it breaks
courtesy of Obscura Magazine
View the Catalogue 展品目錄
I make glass art pieces using the casting technique. Glass casting is the technique of forming glass shapes by pouring molten glass into gypsum molds, and allowing it to cool and harden. It can create unique glass surfaces, depending on what kind of mold is used, or what materials are mixed with the glass. I intentionally mix different materials with the glass in my works.
In order to make a gypsum mold, firstly, I create a shape with wax, according to my own formula. The wax can be difficult to work with, given that it is vulnerable to heat and is not easy to keep cool enough in the summer to shape efficiently. After I make a shape with the wax, I put it in a small box and pour liquid plaster around it.
After the plaster hardens, I melt the wax inside and remove it. The gypsum mold is now complete. I then pour molten glass that has been heated to around 1000℃, soil and metal into the gypsum mold and leave it to cool. After a week to 10 days, I remove the mold and clean the solidified glass. The molds can be used many times; however, if the shape is not that straightforward, such as the shape of a jar, the mold has to be broken to take the solidified glass out. This means that I can use the mold only once and have to make a new one every time I make a new piece. In that case, each piece is one-of-a-kind.
The chemical changes of glass, soil, and metal, when affected by heat, sometimes create unexpected looks. In a way, this could be seen to be a problem, since I am unable to control the look of each piece. However I find the effect of the irregular and unexpected chemical changes interesting as they create rich expressions. And the outcome is always better than that of my calculated plan and prediction.
Photos courtesy of ©︎ Masashi Kuromoto 照片來源：©︎ Masashi Kuromoto
Born in 1983 in Akita, Japan, Shun KUMAGAI graduated from Akita Municipal Junior College of Arts and Crafts in 2007. He began his journey as an assistant at Akita Municipal Junior College of Arts and Crafts. He started working as a glass artist at Toyama Glass Studio between 2012 and 2015, then moved to Akita Arya Glass Studio in 2017. Since 2020, Kumagai has run a private glass studio in Akita City. Kumagai exhibited in various cities, such as Paris and Kyoto.
Kumagai tries to create textures through applying different materials in his works. After a glass piece is completed, the appearance of the soil and metal is influenced by how light falls on the object. So, changes occur each moment in a day. In a dark room, the character of soil becomes apparent and the object may look like earthenware. In the morning sun or the evening sun, the character of glass appears stronger, as if the object itself cast the light.
Limited edition artworks available for sale at the exhibition
Container with lid
H14cm x W10cm x D10cm
Glass, clay, welding by fire
H16cm x W8cm x D4cm
H20cm x W31cm x D31cm
H1cm x W20cm x D20cm
“If you have one of my art pieces, I would like you to enjoy feeling the changes of time throughout the days and seasons from it.”