About the Artist:
Jimu Kobayashi is an industrial designer and ceramic artist with Japanese and Taiwanese roots, born and raised in Germany. He completed his studies at the Folkwang University of the Arts in 2020.
In addition to his own creations, Jimu worked as a product designer at onomao from 2021 to 2023 before dedicating himself to the deeper study of ceramic art in Japan.
During his studies, he attempted to understand the processes of the material from raw state to finished object from both a craft and industrial perspective.
Influenced by his grandparents in Japan, he embarked on a journey to traditional pottery art many years ago. The making of ceramics and the endless pursuit of perfection in this art captivate his interest, and he sees it as a path he will likely follow for his lifetime.
Transforming traditional Japanese craftsmanship into everyday art with a modern perspective is one of his goal.
Questions for Jimu
My first conscious contact with ceramics was through my grandmother. She practices traditional tea ceremonies in Japan. During a visit to my grandmother, she guided me through the ceremony and explained all the components of a tea ceremony. The tea bowl is, of course, an essential part of it. The way to examine such a tea bowl in the tea ceremony completely redefined my view of the object. That's where my interest started in finding out what material this incredibly beautiful tea bowl was made of and how it was made. In my studies as an industrial designer, I learned the execution of ceramic processes in industry and at the potter's wheel.
First and foremost, I am fascinated by the process of ceramics. Starting with modeling a soft lump of clay, the finished ceramic object is created through firing in the oven at high temperatures. The material goes through a kind of metamorphosis. The idea that these techniques have been used for centuries and are still being worked with is incredible. For me personally, working with the material is exciting because it is so versatile. From everyday objects to aerospace technology or dental technology (haha). With each new form, new challenges arise in the implementation, which must be solved like a puzzle. This drives me to become ever better and better in craftsmanship and to get to know the material better.
For me, my work is a kind of search for identity. I am a Japanese born and raised in Düsseldorf. However, I have never really lived in Japan. Therefore, as a young person, I always had an internal problem with the question of my belonging. However, through my work, I can answer this question of belonging by using Japanese and German aesthetics and combining them.
The brushstroke on my works has different meanings. In some objects, I want to emphasize and underline the shape with the brushstroke, or break the shape and show a contrast. The brushstroke itself also carries a structure in its line, which is very multifaceted. From a full, deep blue, which then develops into a very soft, inconsistent shade of blue. It is meant to draw the viewer's gaze, who then follows the line and thereby can better understand the form.