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As Maiko Kurogouchi was slowly building the collection, she couldn’t help feeling there was a piece missing. That was when she had a chance to visit pottery artists, Yuki and Ryohei Yamamoto, in Arita, Saga.

What drew her to Yamamotos’ work was their approach to pottery making and the aura that the work beamed. Their work, while contemporary, bears the sense of long standing existence and fleetingness at the same time.

Fascinated by the way Shogen (early) Imari was made, Yamamotos use the local clay, burn the fire in an ancestral way, in a handmade kiln they built from scratch.

Yamamotos took Kurogouchi to Tenjin Mori Kama-ato, the ruins of the oldest kiln site in Arita where they showed her scattered fragments of pottery from 400 years ago that were deemed failure. It felt as if the memories of those who kneaded the clay, fried pottery and broke them spoke to her.

The idea of the collected memories linked with the theme of this collection, the second diary. To her, the diary was the documentation of her memories and a part of the large story that connects history, languages and cultures at the same time. The fading gray-blue paintings on these fragments, colored with Gosu, a paint made of mainly cobalt oxide, was the last piece of the inspiration Kurogouchi was looking for.

Having stumbled upon these fragments of Shogen Imari, she imagined a pottery artist from another era by tracing the fading patterns and motifs. Wishing to bring their work back to life, Kurogouchi absorbed herself in drawing.

Seeing the beauty that can be found in daily lives in the motifs of plants and flowers, water colored in blue, she traced them onto silk shirts and dresses as a tribe to unknown pottery artists.

This is how Kurogouchi’s 99 day long journey came to an end. It started out with an ancient cloth, and encountered various shades of blue from different times, places and people’s memories.