Komei Bekki, untitled, between 1980 and 1985, ceramic, 4,7 x 2,2 cm, photo : Kevin Seisdedos, Atelier de numérisation – Ville de Lausanne Collection de l’Art Brut, Lausanne
Bekki, Kōmei, (1952, Japan)
Kōmei BEKKI was born in Shiga, a doughnut-shaped prefecture to the east of Kyoto with large Lake Biwa at its center. In Shiga, which is known for its many temples filled with classic Buddhist art and for its long ceramics-making tradition, Bekki takes part in the art workshop at Biwako Gakuen, a social-welfare organization for disabled persons.
There, he starts making his small ceramic sculptures late in the afternoon, after everyone else has gone home, with only two workshop employees present to watch him. Bekki has an unusual ritual: Before he starts working, he takes off all of his clothes. Then he lies on the floor for a while, puts on his clothes, and begins to work.
While mumbling to himself, with great concentration, first he makes many lumps of clay. He makes an opening in each one, and then continues developing the form of each piece. Over the years, working in series, the themes of his creations have included food, dolls, animals, and money. Nowadays Bekki makes ceramic works with clay but in the past he made objects using dirt, which he mixed plants and threads that he had placed in his mouth.