Mari Ogihara

porcelain, glaze, acrylic
19 x 3 x 3 in.

My recent body of work explores methods of beautification, which are traditionally passed down from woman to woman. This history of female ornamentation is long, marvelous and melancholy and is elaborately displayed by females of all cultures. Layers of decoration in nylon, wax and nail polish, wrap the sensual porcelain forms that I create. Strength of the clay material and the shape of each ceramic form combine to create the appearance of a protective shell. Like a mollusk’s seashell, I view female ornamentation as a defense mechanism and the resulting appearance can be unique and exquisite as a work of nature.

As I mount the forms and they accumulate on the wall, their unnatural yet graceful movements transcend into a rythmical, choreographed dance. This combination of pain and beauty reflects a feminine desire to please man and the society they were born into. It illustrates self-imposed rituals that women perform to accompany their particular role. I acknowledge this emotional and physical confinement to be engrained with unfulfilled desires and a sense of living in disguise. This body of work gives power and captures the essence of the many faces imposed on women, and becomes the medium that visually tells her story.

© Mari Ogihara