Kaori Tatebayashi was born in Arita, the home of Imari porcelain in Japan. She grew up in a family trading pottery and was surrounded by beautiful ceramics since her childhood. While studying ceramics in Kyoto and London, Tatebayashi explored what new possibilities clay could have and what this familiar material meant to her own identity. Its paradoxical nature was fascinating, simultaneously having a sense of fragility and permanence.
'Whatever you make with soft and malleable clay, the firing will result in irreversible changes. Clay will end its organic life, and what remains after the firing is like a lifeless 'shell'. It becomes strong and durable, but at the same time it can be destroyed in an instant when dropped.'
Tatebayashi's work encapsulates the fragility of nature's cycle. Her fired ceramics resemble ghosts, losing their organic life in the firing. They become metaphors for memory; connections between the past and the present. Using the material's spectral appearance and paradoxical character, Tatebayashi captures time itself and preserves it within the clay.
In recent years, Tatebayashi's passion for plants and horticulture has increasingly influenced her work. Again, capturing and preserving the fleeting moments of a plants life through modelling by hand.