Published: 3/7/2024

Yuko Fukuba Johnson recently graduated from Bachelor of Arts (Fine Art) co-presented by the Hong Kong Art School and RMIT University in Australia. In 2019, she planned to move to Stockholm with her Swedish husband but ended up staying put due to the pandemic. Stuck in Hong Kong, Yuko seised the opportunity to realise her dream and enrolled in Hong Kong Art School (HKAS) to pursue her love for ceramics.

Yuko’s exhibition work “The Seventh Heterotopias” is inspired by her fear of future illness. She is concerned that she may develop “neurodegenerative disease” like her mother and grandmother. This piece, made of stone and ceramic materials. One piece of rock in the might have witnessed her memorial moment of her childhood. “The Seventh Heterotopias” is a vessel for personal memory, representing evidence of her own existence. Each layer of colour and texture embodies her personal stories – no memories remain perfect, yet it gains its own beauty.

Yuko was impressed by how the environment at HKAS was extremely supportive, inclusive and reactive. Her schoolmates were diverse in terms of age and nationality, which provided a well-rounded education comprising of technical practice as well as theoretical and conceptual studies. This balance allowed her to integrate a variety of knowledge and skills into their own work.

During her studies, one of the memorable experiences was participating in “The Collectible Art Fair” co-presented by Hong Kong Arts Centre (HKAC) and Hong Kong Art School (HKAS), and organised by the Hong Kong Art School Alumni Network Committee (ANC). She experienced alumni’s support and fondness for the School during the process, and was also glad to be able to share her creative insights with fellow alumni and students through her art.

As a ceramics major raised in Japan, Yuko felt fortunate for the chance to study a great deal of Chinese and European ceramic art history in addition to Japanese ceramics. She felt that her education may have been very different had she remained in Japan.
Yuko valued the strong bonds formed between students at HKAS and admired how both students and faculty create an environment that encourages inclusivity, support and cultural exchange.

Some of Yuko’s recent work includes her Heterotopic Memory series. The inspiration stems from her desire to preserve the beautiful memories collected over the years. Both her mother and grandmother have dementia, and she fears that she will also develop it at some point in her life. The artmaking process involved layering coloured porcelain slip over a stone that represents one of her memories, with the different colours of the slip representing microglia – a more subjective experience of memory. By firing these elements together in a kiln, the stone and slip layers melted into one, effectively preserving her memory as a single form. These creations illustrated the intricacies of memory, conveying a delicate beauty and vulnerability that Yuko held very close to her heart.

Hong Kong Art School / RMIT University Bachelor of Arts (Fine Art) Graduate Exhibition 2024 — Ephemeral
Exhibition Period : 6 – 22 July 2024
Time : 10am – 8pm
Venue : 4/F – 5/F Pao Galleries, Hong Kong Arts Centre, 2 Harbour Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong
(Please enter via 5/F using the lifts)
Opening Reception : 5 July 2024 (Fri) | 6:00pm