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79. Yoko Kanayama
Harvest Moon Jar
October 8 -November 30, 2021

Harvest Moon Jar


“Harvest Moon Jar” is inspired by a type of traditional Korean white porcelain vessel called a Moon Jar.  The name came from the shape of the vessel which resembles a full moon. They were used for flowers, wine, as well as for ritual and votive.


Kanayama created seven Moon Jars celebrating the fall harvest moon. There is a traditional Asian celebration of the harvest full moon night in the fall that usually happens between September 7th to October 8th. It is supposed to be the most beautiful moon of the year and people view it while celebrating the fall harvest. 


The kiln of the moon jars was fired on September 20th, during the night of the full moon. It was Kanayama's way of celebrating the harvest full moon. To make the Moon Jars she followed the traditional method of joining together two hemispherical halves in the middle to create a round moon shape. Moon jars were often glazed plain white or clear, with no surface decorations, but Kanayama incorporated on the surface of the jars her memories of the harvest full moon festival from her childhood by using colorful glazes and decorations.


The work and its particular installation call attention to the exhibition experienced as two dimensional photography and to the inability of the viewer to walk around the sculpture inside the Proxy Gallery box(es).  To make the jars more performative, Kanayama also placed a small light inside each vessel which projects a moon shape spotlight on the ceiling of the box. Indeed the simultaneous exhibition of 7 Moon Jars in 7 boxes recalls stages of the moon, i.e. the same object in different positions, versus different objects.  In a gesture of defiance against the static boxes, and to create a 360-degree viewing experience, there is a small disc device attached to the bottom of each jar so that the viewers can manually rotate each Moon Jar.   Since the viewer can only see the exhibition online, Kanayama includes here videos of her own hand spinning the jars. She thus engages a formal interplay of sculpture, photography, performance and video, engaging the limitations and freedoms of the Proxy Gallery.

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