More about Reduction, Self Portrait, 2013
REDUCTION is a magnificent group of figurative porcelain work created in response to the disasters of 2011 in Japan. It addresses the broader changes happening to Japan and to the Japanese people as a result of the tsunami and nuclear disaster.
In this work, Kondo casts his own, entire body in porcelain, using the figure to represent the archetypal Japanese man. He sees Japan and its people as reduced and diminished by the harrowing events, as indeed the sculpture in porcelain has been reduced through the firing process.
Kondo has coated the work in his incredible, signature ‘silver mist’ glaze, exploring the idea that the Japanese have been 'showered' or 'drenched' in radioactivity; the effects of which are still relatively unknown. In addition to the physical and political questions raised, the work conveys a deep sense of uncertainty, suggesting that the ongoing nuclear problems have reduced Japan’s confidence in the future.