Harumi Foster is one of the most modest creators that you could ever meet. She does not brag about her projects and does not bother going into too much detail. She even took time to carefully consider if she wanted to give us her project statement, because she believes that her work is open for interpretation.
“I used to use human figures quite often but I realised that viewers try to identify who the person is. I wanted to avoid that situation,” said Harumi.
While her previous projects made use of human figures, her latest project Hunt Horn used fox, sheep and deer to portray different issues.
“Actually I am not particularly into animals. In fact, I’ve never ever had a proper pet in my life. Those animals I used in my work aren’t familiar to me at all.”
How did Harumi develop such a still status of creativity?
She was born in one of the six oldest pottery centres in Japan, which has produced ceramics for over seven centuries. Harumi’s family ran a ceramic production business and she learnt about ceramics as part of everyday life from a very young age.
“I just make what I feel comfortable with or what I’m interested in. Comparing to my family background, my knowledge and experiences affect me more in my creation.”
In spite of her family business, Harumi did not begin developing her creativity in ceramics and sculpture. She studied painting for a long time then shifted her focus to three-dimensional work, which she was quite fascinated with.
But in the end, Harumi chose ceramics. Well, to be more precise she chose sculptures.
“Do I belong to ceramics? Ceramics is one of my many parts. Ceramics is just one of many materials to create sculptures. Only the difference is that I know more about ceramics than any other materials,” said Harumi.
Harumi emphasises that she considers not only subject matter but also aesthetics and quality. She said she wished to be a conductor, who could use a range of methods and materials, rather than being the player of a single instrument.
“I have been taught art both traditionally, which required acquiring many different artistic skills and a wide range of artistic knowledge, and intellectually, which does not put so much importance on visual aesthetics and material quality of the piece. Therefore, I have been very interested in combining those conventional and unconventional approaches.”
Currently, Harumi is not working on any project. “I worked very heavily, 7 days a week on my last project until summer. So it is thinking time now,” she said.