Sleek Beauty: Ensō at Tristan Hoare

Walking into Tristan Hoare today I suddenly felt transported into another world. The hustle and stress of my busy Tuesday could do nothing but fade away in the symphony of black and white that is their latest exhibition, Ensō. 

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Featuring work by both Ursula Schulz-Dornburg and Taizo Kuroda, the exhibition centres upon the Buddhist concept of Ensō, a circle that is hand-drawn in one or two uninhibited brushstrokes to express a moment when the mind is free to let the body create.

There is without a doubt an intense sense of freedom that permeates the exhibition. The clean white ceramics by Kuroda, are breathtaking in their simplicity, their smooth perfection sometimes tainted with a bold, purposeful crack, which brings a real burst of joy and liberty to the works.

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The Schulz-Dornburg photographs are equally invigorating and in black and white they compliment the white unglazed porcelain works by Kuroda seamlessly.

I had the opportunity to speak with Tristan Hoare himself about the exhibition, and he explained of Schulz-Dornburg’s work, that the photos on view focus on political landscapes, expressing the issues of transition, mediation, exile and displacement. A particular series depicting the Mount Ararat mountain in Armenia, is captioned overhead with the name of each different type of wind that affects the mountain. I found this to be quite moving, a powerful reminder that there are always outside forces beyond our control, that our quest for perfection is mostly a futile one.

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In the words of Kuroda, “What I am ultimately looking for is a perfect space. I am not ready yet to make such a form however. With a wheel it is possible to make a piece that is almost perfect, but I cannot allow myself to do that yet.”

I must say that I too feel a hesitance towards perfection, though an hour immersed in Ensō felt just as close to perfect as possible.

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– India Irving

Ensō will be on view at Tristan Hoare until 21 October, 2016; 6 Fitzroy Square, London, W1T 5HJ; Open 11AM – 6PM Tuesday – Saturday; Admission: FREE



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