Shingu Sayaka 新宮さやか Japanese, b. 1979


The flowers withered
Their color faded away
While meaninglessly
I spent my days in the world
And the long rains were falling

Born in Osaka in 1979, Shingu Sayaka is a contemporary ceramic artist based in Osaka, Japan. She is well-known in and outside Japan for her ceramic flower sculptures, though she creates both functional and sculptural works. Her pieces feature monochromatic mixed clay with slip and glaze. Shingu takes on floral motifs as a metaphor for impermanence, ephemerality, and fleeting beauty. Flowers are an ever lasting theme for artists, most notable in the west are the works of Robert Mapplethorpe and Georgia O'Keeffe to name a few. She is a female potter in a male-dominated ceramic industry. 


In Japan, 無常 (Mujyo/ mutability, uncertainty, impermanence) is one of common sense. People loves 桜(Sakura/ Cherry blossoms) because it lasts not too long. Many arts have been made for that fleeting beauty. One of the six best waka poets of the early Heian period, Ono no Komachi (小野小町 825-900), who was renowned for her unusual beauty, made this poem about flower and her beauty. 


Inside her sculpted pieces, there is an androecium which Shingu makes one by one by her hand. Sometimes thousands and hundreds sticks cover her work. This aggregate part represents the pile of time. This piece itself is relatively small and delicate piece, but because of this part, it has very strong presence. Shingu's flowers never wither.