Born in Japan and now a San Francisco resident, Naoko Okabe's porcelain sculptures carry a fascinating appeal, imbued as they are by their maker's philosophies of life. In her statement, Okabe states she is the destroyer and healer, using classic teddy bear forms because of their inherent representation as messengers of our childhood memories. For reasons that seem very personal to the artist, she perceives the act of art making as a redemption from the 'bad' aspects of her life for which she suffers guilt. The resulting sculptures, in their forms and in the process of art making (from concept to firing to destruction, and occasionally, the video recording thereof) become a cleansing, soothing and balancing activity.
A newly graduated MFA student from the California College of Art, Okabe's work is fragile, but possesses considerable universal visual appeal, transcending the delicacy and fragility of her sculpture.