Hello and Thank You for being here with us. We're pleased to present Tomoko Suzuki's wonderful, thoughtful, full of life figures to the Art Space. In a way, sculptures are a metaphor for these times we are living through – suspended animation. These figures are dancing, flying, floating, falling and remind us that we can do the same. Our hope is that art will provide a break from the news or routine – to float, recline, and dance like no one is watching! Thank you for stopping by, and as always, stay safe, healthy and take care. -KOBO Staff
Tomoko's stoneware Figures are one-of-a-kind pieces are available for purchase. Tomoko's wonderful art prints (see below) are in the Art & Craft section of our web shop. They were printed with Lynda Sherman + Bremelo Press, in Seattle, WA. We love them, and hope you do too.
More about Tomoko:
Tomoko Suzuki was born and raised in Japan. She moved to the United States after graduating high school to study English as she searched for something she can feel passionate about and pursue as a career. Printmaking was her first love in the Arts. She received an MFA in Printmaking from California State University in Long Beach. Despite her academic accomplishments, her path in her art career has been a narrow and winding road. She pressed on as an artist while raising her family and eventually moving to Washington State. Fortunately, Tomoko encountered KOBO where many of her new works are currently displayed and sold.
You will recognize her chubby and full of life figures as her main subject in her sculpture and her prints. These figures and their environment are inspired by her Buddhist practice.
In Buddhism, the Lotus Flower is a symbol of enlightenment. It grows and blossoms out of a muddy pond. While the Lotus symbolizes enlightenment, the muddy pond represents a symbol of earthly desires. In my artistic endeavor, I intend to express a metaphoric diagram of the muddy pond of earthly desires. It embodies the drama of converting suffering into a state of absolute happiness.
Bosatsu is a Japanese word for “Bodhisattva” originated as a Sanskrit word for a “being who aspires to Buddhahood.” Bosatsu carry out altruistic practices to achieve enlightenment and are compassionate beings who postpone their own entry into Nirvana in order to lead others toward enlightenment. The plump figures, which I call “Chubbies”, are the predominant icons in my art and my visual interpretation of the Bodhisattvas. These Bodhisattvas are struggling and suffering in order to advance to enlightenment while helping others to do the same, in the muddy pond of earthly desires.
I have established a solid identity as a Buddhist, and recognize this as a core heritage of my life. This permeates deep within me; deeper than my nationality, ethnicity, or gender. Through my artistic endeavor, I wish to manifest the true nature of my life: Buddhahood. Ultimately, the purpose of my art is to deliver a positive message that each ordinary being possesses the power to transform one's life and environment for the better, regardless of external circumstances.
While our storefronts are temporarily closed, we are fulfilling online orders and offer shipping or curbside pickup at checkout. (Curbside Pickup is available at our Capitol Hill location only.)