Untitled by Shinichi Sawada

Shinichi Sawada

Shiga Prefecture, Japan | b. 1982

Shinichi Sawada has become known internationally for his captivating ceramic figures. Although each sculpture is unique, he follows certain repeating motifs, including faces, animals, and patterns of protruding thorns and striations. His mysterious characters are a playful combination of abstraction and familiarity. Their symmetry and carefully detailed exteriors suggest that nothing is accidental in his work, and that the final, intricately textured objects are the product of a determined, persistent artist.

Sawada rarely speaks, however, his images communicate a rich and vivid imagination.

Featured at the Venice Biennale in 2013, his highly sought-after sculptures have appeared in exhibitions around the world.

More Information

Untitled

Year: 2017

Medium: Clay

Dimensions (in): 8.6×7×5.5

Courtesy of Haretari Kumottari Corporation

ArtPrize Vote Code: 68586

The work is comprised of a head formed of clay. It is made from both light and dark brown clay. Where not marked by other features, the head is covered in wavy ridges pressed into its surface. The head’s facial features are abstract. Its eyes are wide-set and bulging. It’s nose has a central ridge, and is ringed by spikes. Its brow is formed by a straight line of long spikes rising upward. Its hair is formed of leaf-shaped pieces of clay with ridges representing individual strands. It has no apparent mouth. In places across the work, such as surrounding the face, there are spiked seams.

Audio Description

Untitled

Year: Date unknown

Medium: Clay

Dimensions (in): 21×9.8×9.8

Courtesy of Haretari Kumottari Corporation

The work comprises of a clay figure mostly covered in spikes. It is a light brown clay color. Its front is marked by three stacked faces atop a square. These faces increase in size as you move downwards, with the bottom-most face being about twice the size as the top-most face. The features of these faces, and the square they sit on top of, are formed of spikes. The square has a small half-sphere at its center. Two arms hang down from the figure’s sides, each ending in a hand having three claws. The figure’s two feet stick out just below the square, each having three claws similar to those of the hands. The work is crowned by three long spikes splaying outward in different directions.

Audio Description

Untitled

Year: date unknown

Medium: Clay

Dimensions (in): 5.1×9.8×14.4

Courtesy of Haretari Kumottari Corporation

The work is a lizard-like creature, lying on its belly, formed of clay. It is a light brown clay color. It sits low to the ground, with its four legs lying slightly out from its body. The front two legs bend forward. The rear two legs curve backwards before coming to face forward. The legs have feet with three long claws. Rows of short spikes run down the creatures back, with a single row of long spikes down its center. Two rough bumps arise near the creature’s shoulders. Its face is marked by a large, gaping mouth lined with many sharp teeth.

Audio Description

Untitled

Year: no date

Medium: Clay

Dimensions (in): 15×12.8×7.2

Courtesy of the Museum of Modern Art, Shiga

The work comprises of a clay figure mostly covered in spikes. It has a terra cotta clay color. Its front is marked by three stacked faces atop a square that has a small half-sphere at its center. The faces increase in size as you move downwards, with the bottom-most being about twice the size as the top face. The features of these faces, and the square that they sit on top of, are formed of spikes. The top-most face is crowned by a ring of spikes splaying outward in all directions. Two spiked arms emerge from the figure’s sides, each terminating in a hand having three claws. The figure’s two feet stick out just below the bottom square, each having three claws similar to those on the hands.

Audio Description