Kazuma SambeTuscon, Arizona

Red Lodge Clay Center – Short-Term Resident 2019

Kazuma Sambe was born in New York in 1984 as a child of Japanese family. He moved to Japan with his parents when he was four in age and educated there. He then moved to Tucson for studying bio-chemistry. Encountered contemporary ceramics for the first time in his life, but that was the moment he changed his life to art realm. He obtained BFA in 2011 from University of Arizona and MFA from Arizona State University in 2014. He currently resides in Tucson for his production of ceramics.

We eat facts and digest them into our reality. Food is an essential element in our life, not only for nutrition but also as a cultural representation through sight and taste. We sometimes think that the food we see with our eyes is the whole image. However, advertising culture manipulates and distorts reality to stimulate consumers’ imagination and turns its product into hope and satisfaction. When we go to a fast food restaurant and order a burger, what we actually get is different from the one depicted in the fancy advertisement. We unconsciously compromise the image or even alter our own perceptions of the burger and eat without suspicion and disappointment.

In this society with saturated information and multiculturalism, we rarely accept reality that is sometimes painful and strict, and taste superficial sweet flavors based upon our own comfort. My art is created through cooking a culture as the main food material. It is seasoned with my Japanese cultural black humor, such as island psychology, an illusion of democracy, and self-torment. Such intense seasoning would make a dish horrible nutritionally, yet oddly attractive to my tongue. I also add a bitter taste, indicating the flatness of our consumer culture through my art, so the customer knows that we are all dreaming in a bed of sugar no matter how we believe in the reality. It brings us distress anxiety and so on, but all such feelings are our happiness as consumers. Knowing that we are floating in sweetness and high-fructose syrup is a medicine that embitters. I hope all of us can even out the bitterness.