Porcelain has been a highly prized material for centuries, impenetrable, tough and strong, yet it has the magical translucence found in sea shells from which it earned its namesake. These contrasting aspects of porcelain are what make it so fascinating for sculptor Katusyo Aoki, first featured in Hi-Fructose Vol. 21, who has chosen this material to express a multitude of emotions. She is perhaps best known for her intricately carved skulls that are colored in a variety of pure white and blue tones, relating them to a macabre religious object. Her recent pieces have included associations to 18th century designs, Norse folk magic, and more modern references to abstract art, as in her taller, distorted pieces that resemble tree branches or ocean waves. For her current exhibition at Jason Jacques Gallery in New York, “Dark Globe”, Aoki combines her swirling designs with regal, yet dark subject matter. This new exhibit includes her popular human skulls, divided into thee new series; her conceptual series “Loom” (first seen here), “Predicative”, and “The Void”, sculptures that resemble crowns, symbols representing power and glory, as well as the weight of responsibility. The crown takes on a variety of forms and context in Aoki’s exhibition throughout. As religious icons, they appear as a symbol of holy righteousness, but when placed on top of a skull, become a possible warning about the repercussions of the wearer’s reign. Take a look at more of Katsuyo Aoki’s recent sculptures below, on view through February 21st, 2016.