Heidi Trautmann

936: With a Smile – Ceramic Art Exhibition with Masakazu Kusakabe at SOL Atelier Nicosia

By Heidi Trautmann


I first heard of Masakazu Kusakabe on the occasion of three of our ceramic artists (Sevcan Cerkez, Toya Akpinar and Sinem Ertaner) going to Japan to take part in a workshop he was giving. I envied them, I must say. I had been to Japan in the 1970s and had admired Japan’s culture and art ever since.

Then I met him in person at the Vounous event he had come to join all the way from Japan on September 1, invited by those three ceramic artists. We talked and exchanged some ideas. Then he came to my exhibition and he got for himself one of my paintings, telling me that it goes along with Japanese understanding and that my signature means ‘Bamboo’.

Now I visited him at his own exhibition which will only last for three days because he will then return to his country, leaving with us a big smile. Thank you Masakazu Kusakabe.

The exhibition was set up by Toya Akpinar and Sinem Ertaner and the whole project was supported by Girne American University and American University of Cyprus. I had come before the opening so I had the chance to speak to him again and get a clear picture of the art work on display. The circle, the bowl, I am a bowl, a cup, receiving, he says. Yes, we should be. I try to be a bowl myself.  I read about his thoughts on his website, they absolutely meet with mine.




Many of the pieces on display he had done in Cyprus while here, while in Vounous, he also tried the Vounous clay and had it fired the Bronze Age style. He has repeated on paper the design he has used on the pieces, drawings with ink and brush, he did while I was speaking to him, drawings of the smile, of the mother goddess, of his home landscape, the circle representing completeness, everywhere. Also on slabs of stone and cement, on an old Cypriot wooden door he had found.


The SOL Atelier is one of the finest I have so far seen here; an architectural master piece and it fitted the exhibition like a glove. The whole set-up was a feast for the eyes. Unfortunately we had a power cut and my photos are a bit blurred.

Later, a tea ceremony was to follow which I had to miss and I heard it was well attended.


He will come again, he said, next year.

The first thought on his list is: “In harmony! We are all friends, all fellow artists! We are all wonderful beings!”



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