Born in 1928, Hayashi Yasuo is a founding member of the Shiko-kai 四耕社 movement, and an important precursor to the Avant-garde ceramics group Sodeisha 走泥社. Hayashi has played a key role in the modernization of Japanese pottery. His playful take on sculptural formalism recalls ideas behind the Minimalist movement in America, in its willingness to push the boundaries between two- and three-dimensionality. With an outstanding work ethic that is inspiring to most, Hayashi’s practice has lasted over eight decades. He is now considered one of the most important forerunners of abstraction in contemporary Japanese ceramics.
The Shikokai group boldly explored new forms for ceramics, and took the medium in truly innovative sculptural directions. Not only was Hayashi the group's youngest member, but also its most celebrated. His abstract ceramic sculpture far outshined that of his contemporaries. His Cloud of 1948 is arguably the very first abstract ceramic sculpture made in Japan. In 1950, Hayashi was included in the first exhibition of contemporary Japanese ceramics to be held in Europe. Set at the prestigious Cernuschi Museum in Paris, the show also included the celebrated Japanese-American sculptor Isamu Noguchi. His sculptures range in size, and feature skilled bisque firing. He currently lives and works in his studio in Kyoto, Japan.