Moeka the little japanese girl
My first ceramic piece that got sold.
Last week i was in a ceramic studio/factory/corporate office don’t know what to call it. Here they let artists come and experiment on their blank ceramic objects like tiles, plates, vase etc. So my friend burcu invited me and i went, i was well received there and was given a desk with my colours and brushes. The first object that i started off was a small square white clay tile. With a tiny round brush i started painting it. After an hour a group of japanese tourist arrived and were guided by a local from the “industry” explaining about the pots, the traditional art there blah blah blah basically all touristy things. One of the comments i remember is
” here we invite students to come and learn, students take four to five years to learn this art, all they do is copy the work of the master. look Here is a piece made by a student, as you can see its immature. But look here this is a work of a master an usta , so beautiful so detailed “
I was just taken aback by this entire explanation, but i just let it pass. After all this explanation the tourists take a walk around in the studio looking at the artists do the paintings on the ceramics. Group after group kept coming and going and i noticed how some of them were found of my work since it was very different from the traditional style, no colours only strong black lines and figures not so easy to understand. I just smiled back at them said hello and continued painting. After 4 hours of painting , there arrived one more japanese group. There was this teenaged girl, who did not give a damn about what the guide was explaining , she just stood in front of my table looking with an awe as to what i was making. after few minutes the guide asked the group to move to the next space, they all left including this girl. After 5 mins though this girl returned with her mother and started saying something in japanese to me , to which my response was smile. Then they went and got the guide to translate, so the deal was they girl wanted to buy my work. I was extremely happy and surprised. But i said its incomplete and not cooked, she said its ok and all of a sudden out of the blue the guide just snatched the piece out of my hand and gave it to her. After this he said “photo, photo !!” and i posed with the girl , took a photo. Then he said signature , put your signature. Also which i did not very happily. The girl asked me to write her name, “Moeka”. After few minutes the girl her mother the guide and my first ever ceramic art was gone pufff!!
This entire incident happened in maybe 5 mins.
After which everyone around me my teachers other students kept congratulating me. I went to drink tea alone, i sat under the shadow in this massive concrete box. And i was wondering, why was i SAD?
There were two possible reasons in my head.
1. I was so full of ego and pride that someone liked my work and i was so easy on giving it away even though it was not finished and was incomplete. I did not care about my art at all, i was too full of myself.
2. I was so involved in my art that someone taking it out of hand did not bother me, what bothered me is that i could not complete my work.
I accepted that the man took the work out of hand and gave it away cause its his duty in this factory, his role is to sell things and he does not think about the artist , all his thinks about is selling the art. Later he came back and demanded for the photos we took. And when we asked him why he did not address this situation more kindly, he said it’s none of our business to ask such questions.
Next day i went back to have a talk with the manager of this big factory, he said thats how the guides are here, they are just doing their job , don’t expect any humility or gratitude from them and brushed us off. Later that day one of the fellow workers in the studio told us about how they exploit artists and their work. Each artist spends hours/days/ months in preparing a traditional complete piece. For which he or she is given for example 10$ per piece of small square tile, this tile is sold to the customers at a price which ranges between 150$ – 200$. It does not matter how many hours, how much detail or love you put into it.
Accepting all this i continued painting the new plate that was given to me. My teacher felt guilty for all that had happened the other day . He taught me how to use the colours and specially the turquoise paint which is the most difficult to work with. And later when i requested him if could take the second piece i was preparing he smiled and said yes. That was the last day i went to this insane concrete ceramic factory. A factory where all the rich and vip’s come to see the work of the rich at heart. The artist sitting and painting and moulding the same thing over and over again. Such is life.
“If being an artist was so easy everyone would be one “
other artists / teachers working in the studio
The second piece that i painted
Apparently i was the first student in the last 8 years since the place has been created to have sold a piece while it was being made, even before it was complete or cooked.
And i was thinking about the comment the guide keeps telling all the tourist.
“Here is a piece made by a student, as you can see its immature. But look here this is a work of a master an usta , so beautiful so detailed “
Today i wait for my cooked piece of art to arrive , brucu said she would get it. Fingers crossed 🙂