Write Around PAM: Katsumata Chieko

Akoda (Pumpkin), Katsumata Chieko, 16 ⅛ inches x 16 ⅛ inches x 16 ⅛ inches, stoneware with pigment. The ceramic object is pumpkin-like, laying on its side at a ¾ turn to the left. It has bulbous, ridged sections that wrap around to the center, which is open and caving in on itself. The bulging sections seem to taper off to small nubs and become freed from each other as they curl inward towards the dark hollow at the center. There is a pale, minty green underlayer of pigment with bright red pigment applied here and there to the bumpy ridges that gradually increases until all around the opening is completely red.

The arrival of a new year gives us an opportunity to pause, to set intentions, to be open to the expanse of time and space all around us. This piece by Katsumata Chieko, offers a way to enter into that expanse, that openness, that empty vessel of a fresh start, while also being mindful of the many ways we are ‘contained’ right now, and may be feeling the restrictions and difficulties of our continued pandemic days. We invite you to spend some time writing today, using this piece as inspiration. Before or after you write, we encourage you to learn more about Katsumata Chieko’s life and work through this interview from the Asian Art Museum.

We have two prompts to help you get started. As always, you can choose one, both, or write whatever else comes. Set a timer for 10 mins and just keep your pen moving.

Starting now… / Looking ahead… 

Writing in community is powerful. We are grateful to our longtime partner Write Around Portland for the writing prompts and inspiration. You can revisit past Sunday posts and look for continuing weekly posts through the fall. Please share your work with us! @writearoundpdx @portlandartmuseum #RespectWritingCommunity #WriteAroundPAM 

Katsumata Chieko, Akoda (Pumpkin), 2014, stoneware with pigment, Gift of Carol and Jeffrey Horvitz, © unknown, research required, 2017.70.4

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