SAYAKA SHINGU, Bowl No. 2, 2020
3.5 x 6 x 6 inches
November 14 - december 12, 2020
Until the 1950s, even if Japanese women wanted to enter the pottery world, their work at kilns was only an auxiliary process, and they faced physical difficulties while being blocked by various conventions. Therefore, a continuous study began to promote kneading, forming and firing among women who blazed their own paths to become ceramic artists.
Since then, female ceramic artists have expanded their playing field as handicraft "pottery" has been changing into artistic "ceramics" including sculptural works full of creativity and design.
As independent artists, a greater number of female ceramic artists, who are most likely have studied pottery at art universities, pursue and express their world of deep contemplation in clay, and play a part in the diversity of contemporary ceramic art in Japan while freely displaying their unique visions and concepts.
In addition, the bold and precise forms, and fantastic and delicate expressions their works have been increasingly valued overseas in recent years, rather than in Japan.
We are proud to bring you four contemporary Japanese female artists, Mikiko Tomita, Mayumi Nakamura, Sayaka Shingu and Mio Yamaguchi, artists at different stages of their careers for a group exhibition in Boston. Tomita exhibited in the USA more than 10 years ago in a seminal exhibition, Touch Fire at the Smith College, MA while Nakamura, Shingu and Yamaguchi are exhibiting for the first time here.
SAYAKA SHINGU, Bowl No.2
Most of my pieces resemble fragile dried flowers. As colored flowers are common and too familiar to people, I use black clay which I think allows one to use one’s imagination and see beyond flowers.
Before creating a piece, I have the size and roughly the shape in my mind. If I first make a sketch for the completed image, the shapes tend to be forms I have previously seen, and so the finished piece won’t be interesting to me; therefore, I prefer to allow for significant changes while I am working on a piece.
I mix clay with black pigment in varying proportions in order to create a monotonic palette of color. When constructing a piece, I first make many ‘petals’ out of very thin black clay, and while doing this I keep in mind the need to express various movements or shapes of the individual petals. I then make thousands of the very small, needle size rods that form the center cluster of ‘stamens’ of the flower, which is extremely time consuming. It is important to me to convey a sense of growing, undulating stamens in order to express that the flower is in the final stage of life. I think this is the most important part of the execution. After the first (bisque) firing, I then add either white slip or occasionally glaze and fire them a second time.
When I observe all the stages of the life of a single flower - the first stem, the buds, the full bloom, the wilting and drying - I am reminded of the same stages in the lives of human beings and I think about their inner feelings. This is generally the source of my inspiration. In spite of the inevitable ending of life, both flowers and humans produce new generations. I am always deeply touched by the invisible pulsating life force of flowers, and I try to express this energy in my work with the forms of flowers. I am satisfied if I could convey this to others.
1979 Born in Osaka, Japan
2001 B.F.A. Osaka University of Arts
2003 The Shigaraki Ceramic Cultural Park, Studio Artist for the Artist-in-Residence Program
2006 Gallery Maronie, Kyoto (’05)
2007 “CUBIC” gallery ITEZA, Kyoto
2010 INAX Galleria Ceramica, Tokyo
Silver Shell, Tokyo
2011 INAX Live Museum, Aichi
2012 Gallery yuragi, Kyoto
2013 Gallery Suchi, Tokyo (’10)
2014 ENTOREZ, Hyogo
2015 Gallery Tosei, Osaka
Gallery Utsuwa-note, Saitama
2017 Kochukyo, Tokyo
2018 Takashimaya Nihombashi, Tokyo
Gallery Labo, Ehime (’16)
2019 Rokurokudo, Kyoto (’13)
Utsuwakan, Kyoto (’12, ’13, ’15, ’17)
2020 Gallery Utsuwa-note, Tokyo
Gallery Labo, Ehime (’16, ’18, ’19)
2007 Asahi Ceramic Exhibition (’04)
2010 Three-Dimensional Art Show by Contemporary Artists / Bunkamura Gallery, Tokyo
+PLUS: THE ART FAIR, Tokyo
2012 Asia Top Gallery Hotel Art Fair Hong Kong / Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong
ART KYOTO 2012, Kyoto
The 7th Paramita Museum Ceramic Art Grand Prize Exhibition / Paramita Museum, Mie
2013 ART OSAKA 2013, Osaka
LA CERAMIQUE JAPONAISE, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Turkey
Wondering! Amazing! Amusing! 4 Ceramists Exhibition / Saihodo Gallery, Tokyo (in each year since 2013)
2014 Metamorphose / Takashimaya Kyoto, Osaka, Nagoya, Shinjuku, Nihombashi
JURYOKU / Gallery Suchi, Tokyo
2015 ART OSAKA 2015, Osaka
JURYOKU / Gallery Suchi, Tokyo
2017 Object Exhibition / YAKATA YUSAI, Tokyo
2019 SPARKLE / Rokurokudo, Kyoto
Transcendental World / Setouchi City Museum of Art, Okayama
Ryosokuin Kenninji Temple, Kyoto
2004 Selected for Asahi Ceramic Exhibition (’07)
2008 Selected for Kyoto Art and Craft Biennale, The Museum of Kyoto
2012 Selected for the 7th Paramita Museum Ceramic Art Grand Prize Exhibition / Paramita Museum, Mie
Selected Public Collections
Anadolu University Museum, Eskisehir, Turkey