Matias Liimatainen Chosen for Ceramic Arts Residency in Japan, autumn 2017

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Matias Liimatainen Chosen for Ceramic Arts Residency in Japan, autumn 2017

Matias Liimatainen has been chosen to participate in the joint Artist-in-Residence Program by Shigaraki Ceramic Cultural Park and The Finnish Institute in Japan.

Liimatainen is a Finnish sculptor and ceramic artist. He studies ceramics at Aalto University in Helsinki while working at his own ceramic studio in Kerava. Liimatainen has made sculptures, smaller ceramic pieces and tableware.

However, he is best known for his figurine sculptures that take the shape of animal or humanlike creatures.

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In his works Liimatainen combines futuristic Sci-Fi elements with old fashioned country house esthetics in a fascinating way. Liimatainen builds all his sculptures by hand using porcelain or stoneware clay.

He has developed a unique method of sculpting, where he uses everyday objects such as food packaging as a base for his molds. “My artworks are composed of forms, which I have borrowed from industrially produced consumer objects. Forms such as the form of a vacuum cleaner tube or a humble bucket are seen too often as too banal. These forms then get a new freshened meaning when combined in my artwork”, Liimatainen says. He uses approximately 150 different kinds of molds to create his works.

In the past Liimatainen’s sculptures often had a robot-like appearance. “During recent years I have allowed, according to my working ideology, them to make an “evolutionary jump”. The robot-like appearance has thus been replaced by more humanlike forms,” Liimatainen explains.

His artwork has been strongly influenced by Japanese art and pop culture. Especially studio Ghibli movies, the Final Fantasy videogame series and works by Japanese artists such as Yoshimoto Nara have had a great impact on Liimatainen’s visual world view. “They have influenced me, more strongly with the fairy tale like atmosphere, rather than their direct visual look”, Liimatainen says.
Liimatainen is looking forward to his residency in Japan. Even though he already has a strong knowledge of the Japanese culture he hopes to start his residency with an open mind. “I want to make a jump to the unknown, and be open to the local atmosphere and influences and let them form the sculptures I will produce,” he says.
During his stay in Japan Liimatainen will collect objects from the residence and the surrounding areas and use them as molds for his artwork. He will then cast plaster molds of these objects and use their given forms to produce a group of sculptures.

Liimatainen’s works have been exhibited both in Finland and around the world. His works have been exhibited as part of group exhibitions in Stockholm, Paris, London, Milan and Soul. His next exhibition will be in Studio Karin Widnäs in Fiskars as a part of their summer exhibition.

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