TOUGEI-OKINAWA2012


 

 

THE PROCESS OF MAKING CORAL EGGS

Underneath the coral mushrooms coral eggs are spread out, like apples that have fallen from a tree. But other than apples they have all kinds of sizes and shapes and seem to hold a life of their own within. Their surface is not even like the skin of an apple or the shell of a bird's egg, but rough, vibrant and glowing.

During the process of the making of the coral eggs from little pieces of clay life is being breathed into them. It is a process that takes place in a state of consciousness and unconsciousness at the same time. One cannot be without the other, it is like the flow of meditation, where both streams of consciousness merge. Only by focusing on the moment and concentrating on the cool touch of the soft clay on my skin it is possible to let go, let my mind be open for thoughts and feelings that seem to come out of nowhere. I become a conductor for those thoughts and feelings. They go right through me into the material, into the egg.

In the beginning of each egg there is a perfect ball of clay. A perfect ball is hard to make, rolling it between the palms of my hands. It is a little bit easier when the egg is only as small as a pearl, but harder when the egg is bigger. While rolling the balls I follow the music that comes from the radio in Manabu's studio. As well as their sizes vary they are therefore also influenced by various rhythms. The clay feels cool at first, but warm at the very end, when I put the egg into the bowl to airdry. Rolling the balls I can feel how they are gradually getting warmer while taking their shape, as if something is growing from inside and softly starting to glow. 

When the balls have taken their shape they become coral eggs. With a round piece of coral natural patterns are imprinted on their surface. Each egg is different from one another. Their surface becomes altered and uneven and torn apart, their shape bruised - never changing the fact that there is a perfect ball within each egg. On Okinawa there is a word that describes the roughness of the people compared to the people living on the mainland of Japan: TEHGEH. It is a kind, warm word, describing the imperfection of outside apperance while at the same time there is something precious hidden inside. The coral eggs are a symbol of TEHGEH.(Lisa)