by Ariadna Zierold
Katsuyo Aoki is best known for her intricate, pure white porcelain skulls. Her latest sculptures are decorated with colorful designs, some of which are now on display in “The Colors of Globalization” at Bernardaud Foundation in Paris.
It was Victorian England that kicked off the trade of blue and white porcelain originally. Aoki’s palette draws upon this time period, which dates back to 18th century designs that imitated Chinese porcelain. The skull takes on a new form in her new pieces, such as “Trolldom,” one her largest works to date measuring at 6ft tall. Here, she borrows inspiration from the Norse folk magic tradition of the same name, in a continuation of her mythical themes. The decorative style in which the piece is crafted alludes to that of a religious relic, while also making its macabre details more refined.