Shio Kusaka has become known for her playful and open approach to the ceramic medium, crafting vessels and figures that are both functional and abstract. Painting and incising on thrown porcelain and stoneware surfaces, Kusaka merges sculpture and drawing while asserting the role of ceramics within the realm of contemporary art.
Kusaka was born in 1972 in Morioka, Japan, and moved to San Francisco in the early 1990s. After receiving her BFA in 2001 from the University of Washington, Seattle, she moved to Los Angeles, where she currently lives and works.
In early 2020, the historic Neutra VDL Studio and Residences in Los Angeles held a solo exhibition of Kusaka’s work, curated by Douglas Fogle and Hanneke Skerath. Museum Voorlinden in Wassenaar, The Netherlands, held the two-person exhibition Shio Kusaka and Jonas Wood, in 2017. Kusaka’s work has also been included in important group exhibitions, such as the Whitney Biennial 2014; Going Public: The Napoleone Collection – International Art Collectors in Sheffield, Graves Gallery, Sheffield, England (2016), which traveled to Touchstones Rochdale Museum, Rochdale, England (2016–2017); Recent Acquisitions in Asian Art, Allen Memorial Art Museum, Oberlin, Ohio (2017); and Making Knowing: Craft in Art, 1950–2019, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2019–2022).
The artist's first solo exhibition with David Zwirner, Shio Kusaka: one light year, was presented at the gallery's 19th Street location in 2022. In 2021, Kusaka was awarded the Isamu Noguchi Award alongside Toshiko Mori.
The artist’s work is held in public collections worldwide, including the Allen Memorial Art Museum, Oberlin, Ohio; The Broad Art Foundation, Los Angeles; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Museum Voorlinden, Wassenaar, The Netherlands; Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Overland Park, Kansas; and Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.