Kimi Nii

Kimi Nii
Beatriz Sant'Ana

Kimi Nii

27 Oct – 23 Nov 2019

26 Oct, 11h–15h

Kogan Amaro Gallery
Alameda Franca, 1054
Jardim Paulista, São Paulo, SP

White Cloud Mountain

Three natural elements: a mountain, clouds and plants. Kimi Nii was born in Japan, in the city of Hiroshima, two years after the atomic bomb was dropped onto the city. As a 9-year-old child, she crossed the ocean and arrived in the city of Santos, São Paulo state, where she stayed and remained enchanted by its nature and light.

Light and nature are what give form to her sculptures. Her desire is not to imitate nature but to look at things from both sides of the world. To mix the Brazilian thing that is in front of her with the Japanese thing which she brought with her in her baggage filled of memories, which she explains with such simple words to describe what she creates today with freedom and exuberance. This is also key to her narrative, which prompts us to create mental landscapes – those suggested and that force us into a sensible exercise, that of spatial awareness, that when combined with Kimi Nii’s sculptures that are spread across the gallery, make us conceive a mental landscape.

On one side we have cylindrical shapes that are repeated but not equal. They vary subtly in colour and shape, in the sheer delicacy of the shaping gesture, like curdled white clouds in the sky shaped by winds ‚currents. On the other side we have conical shapes aligned on the ground that resemble the idea of a tiny view of the world drawn by the mountains. At the centre, the structure of a plant of the hibiscus family suggests that the landscape is complete.  Mountain, clouds and plants.

The artist offers silence in between the clouds that are scattered over the heights of the exhibition room and the conical shapes aligned on the floor, organized in a straight line that draws the perspective for those who enter the exhibition room. In this room, an exercise is required from those who observe: to bend down in order to draw in one’s mind the horizon of these conical shapes and a mountain range under the white clouds above our heads. This happens obviously if we put ourselves in the shoes of the giant Goliath watching the world from above, almost touching the clouds with his head. Are we the so called Néphélibates, those humans known for having their heads in the clouds?

Her way of observing is minimalist when removing her forms and gestures in order to shape the essential, which is made from the minimum. It results from the silence found among the white clouds, the mountains and the plant. A landscape that brings together the more synthetic things of Japan, which eliminates the superfluous of shapes and colors, with the exuberance of the things of Brazil, the gigantic sky that protects it, the immensity of its forests and its rugged territory inhabited by mountain ranges. What remains in her ceramics is the essence of matter, shape and color of clay.

Kimi does not want to be just a potter.  She wants to be an artist and to be recognized as such. Being an artist is being free to create. The artist seeks this freedom for her world through pottery, which conquered her, since she already had the pleasure and desire for creating with her skilful hands. She began making more organic things and in more essential forms. She called those ceramics “flora”.

The ceramics of plants were born from the gestural observation of the hibiscus’s form. She studied nature’s intelligence, given that nature knows how to draw harmoniously the natural elements of the world, through gestures and movements, like a dance that shapes the shape of plants. This is how she entered the world of natural forms without the intention of imitating them. Searching for only the minimum of the minimum found in the flora, combining the exuberance of Brazilianness and simplicity of the Japanese gestures and eye, in order to shape her work. The world to Kimi’s eyes is more open, it’s wide, which is why she wished to become an artist. That’s why she likes to experiment and make high-temperature ceramic sculptures. This technique, which is more difficult and results in more loss, is worth it, as it gives the ceramic more resistance, turning it into stone. Defects are incorporated and become effects achieved during the creative process.

Artists exist simply for what they create and, therefore, are more interesting in what they are. Kimi Nii’s work is about life transformed into beautiful objects and harmoniously organized with clay matter. There are artists and works that give immense pleasure to observe, hear and write about. Kimi Nii is one of those artists who inspire feelings of empathy, the desire to hear, to observe, to have and to be with. She has the oriental humility; Along with the overflowing peace in her quiet speech, in her intelligent and patient smile. With skilled hands, the artist represents life in harmony. Listening to her is like listening to a haiku. To see her work is to find inner peace. Kimi Nii is art.


Ricardo Resende
Artistic Director