Places of worship take many forms, but they all share a common atmosphere. There’s a certain quietude that puts visitors at ease and a sense of other-worldliness achieved, in part, through the careful placement of precious objects on raised platforms. Kim Riyoo’s ceramic installation, “Ceramics as New Exoticism,” now on display at Ginza’s INAX Galleria Ceramica, has these attributes, but the subject matter is one that many would consider less than holy.

Upon entering the gallery, visitors find themselves in a templelike space with a decidedly Japanese ambience. Shoji screens and wooden panels, borrowed directly from a Japanese folk house, hang from the ceiling to set off the interior, and tatami mats on the floor complete the room. The carved vessel at the very front of the installation calls to mind an offering box found at the entrance of Japanese shrines and, much like a shrine, the subject of reverence lies behind the coffers raised on tatami mats.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.