Hidden Variables introduces an overview of Maiko Tsutsumi’s recent work produced since her return to studio practice in 2017. The body of work forms part of her long-term research into the relationships between qualities of aesthetic experience and material properties of objects and environments: a subject she has been exploring through academic research and curatorial practice for the past 10 years. Tsutsumi’s interest in this particular subject is rooted in her experience from the frequent visits she made to the National Museum of Ethnology in Osaka in her formative years in Japan. In Hidden Variables, the objects are arranged in a number of compositions, that bring forth the resonance between corresponding qualities found within these objects.
Her key research interests include: materiality; tacit and embedded/experiential knowledge; and the role of language, all in relation to hands on making practices.
The range of objects she makes are categorised mainly in these three types: whittled wood (green or reclaim); hand carved and Japanese urushi lacquered wood; and wheel thrown porcelain.
Maiko Tsutsumi studied Japanese lacquer work and woodwork. She was apprenticed to furniture makers in Kyoto before moving to London where she received her master’s degree in furniture design at the Royal College of Art in 1998. She completed a practice based PhD, The Poetics of Everyday Objects at Kingston University in 2007. Maiko is now the course leader for MA Designer Maker at Camberwell College of Arts, University of the Arts London.