Sayaka Shingu

New Directions: Japanese Women Artists

November 14 - December 12, 2020



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


Solo Exhibitions

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)


Group Exhibitions

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