Kazuhito Kawai. The Magic Mirror, 2022. Glazed ceramic
Kazuhito Kawai / I Gotta Feeling
Feb 12 – Mar 12, 2022
Steve Turner Gallery
Los Angeles, USA

Steve Turner is pleased to present I Gotta Feeling, a solo exhibition by Ibaraki-based Kazuhito Kawai which features new ceramic sculpture. Some monochromatic and others gloriously colorful, the works were inspired by an association that Kawai makes whenever he hears The Black Eyed Peas hit song “I Gotta Feeling.” When it came out in 2009, the world’s economy was in dire straits following the collapse of Lehman Brothers, yet no matter the uncertainty and despair, the song, an anthem of optimism, always played at his favorite club when it closed at 6 am. As he recalls that moment, he senses parallels to the current time, where youthful hope seems to be balancing out fear and calamity. Kawai also sees his works as portraits of his emotions as they enter the kiln after many weeks of preparation, but after the firing, he finds them transformed into someone else. He likens the mix of works as guests at a party, and after years of only packing his works for shipments, he created these works with the hope that he might see them installed.

Kazuhito Kawai creates ceramic vessels that are inspired by his identification with Japan’s “lost generation,” one that has lived through a steady downward trend where hope was uncommon, drugs and alcohol were abundant and pop culture served to ease the pain. With their chaos, irregularity, collapse and fragility his works allude to despair and with their bright and lustrous colors, they also mask it.