Japanese artist Kaori Kurihara sculpts fanciful ceramic sculptures of lusciously textured exotic fruits and vegetation, both real and imagined. Her exquisite pieces are heavily inspired by the plant world, especially the shapes and natural geometric repetition of forms in nature, which lend themselves to captivating motifs while also allowing for infinite diversity. Her first muse? The durian—a spiky fruit, commonly found in Southeast Asian regions, that is known for its pungent odor and distinct taste.
“I was amazed by its unique and magnificent shape,” Kurihara shares. “Thanks to this discovery, I started to create my series of ‘the imaginary fruits’…I inspire myself by nature and looking between reality and fantasy. It’s my own imagination.”
Kurihara also takes inspiration from the shapes and textures of other exotic fruits and tropical vegetation. And with one foot firmly planted in nature and the other skimming the surface of dreams, Kurihara crafts imaginative pieces that are at once realistic and otherworldly. Each one is hand-formed with painstaking detail before they’re adorned with vibrant hues that combine to make up vividly striking colorscapes.
“I want to represent something alive, and to feel the vitality of my pieces,” Kurihara says. “Each part of the piece must be touched and worked on, I never leave a blank part…If I feel a connection visually, this means I have succeeded.”
Despite how intricately detailed each of her ceramic sculptures is, Kurihara admits that the longest step in the process is deciding which colorful pigments to add to her one-of-a-kind creations. “The piece itself guides me to its own colors,” she explains. WhenKurihara’s vision comes together, it’s difficult not to become mesmerized by the luscious textures and nuanced tones that grace the surface of her strange and enchanting fruits.