Shio Kusaka (b.1972, Morioka, Japan) is a Los Angeles-based artist practicing in the ceramic medium. Kusaka grew up attending her grandmother’s tea ceremonies in Japan, in which she learned to observe vessels closely. After receiving her BFA from the University of Washington, Seattle, she moved to Los Angeles in 2003 and focused on clay specifically. Kusaka merges drawing and sculpture, typically moving between abstraction and representation. She has developed a distinct formal language in her use of shape, pattern, color, and glazing techniques that make reference to Yayoi period Japanese pottery, Eighteenth Dynasty of Egypt, and the wall drawings of Sol LeWitt alike. As Roberta Smith stated in the New York Times “If the Minimalist painter Agnes Martin had been a potter, she might have made vessels like these.” From grids, dots, and line patterns to the more playful strawberry, watermelon, and dinosaur vessels, Kusaka always shows her hand in the construction of the works.
Kusaka was included in the 2014 Whitney Biennial at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY. Recent museum exhibitions include Shio Kusaka, Neutra VDL Studio and Residences, Los Angeles, CA (2020); Shio Kusaka & Jonas Wood, Museum Voorlinden, Wassenaar, Netherlands (2017); Recent Acquisitions in Asian Art, Allen Memorial Art Museum, Oberlin, OH (2017); Going Public: The Napoleone Collection – International Art Collectors in Sheffield, Graves Gallery, Sheffield, UK (2016), traveled to Touchstones Rochdale Museum, Rochdale, UK; among others.
Shio Kusaka: Pots