SASAYAMA Tadayasu Bowl Form and Tea Bowl 4.jpg

sasayama tadayasu

sasayama tadayasu

sasayama tadayasu 笹山忠保(1939- )

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At the forefront of the Japanese avant-garde was the Sodeisha 走泥社 group. In the 1950s, this group liberated ceramics from their utilitarian origins to create innovative but non-functional ceramic art-objects. The artist SASAYAMA Tadayasu笹山忠保 (1939- ) exhibited with the Sodeisha group in 1967. His works embody a simple, quiet stillness that evokes a sense of space not unlike the work of the American Minimalist sculptor Donald Judd. His work’s modular-esqe execution also brings Judd to mind; though these pieces may seem the same, each is in fact carefully handmade. Sasayama’s refined forms elevate traditional clay, pigments, and glazes to sophisticated modernist sculptures whose wood-fired surfaces remain recognizably Shigaraki. Like Judd, Sasayama infuses his material with elemental power, conjuring up nearly spiritual connotations from simple origins. 

Acting on advice from American sculptor Isamu Noguchi (1904-1988), Sasayama looked to primitive Japanese art to fuel his formal imagination. Noguchi urged the artist to find his true identity as a Japanese artist by studying the history of ceramics and ancient design. This proved very fruitful for the artist, and even now he continues to contemplate Noguchi’s advice. Just last year, Sasayama was invited to hold an exhibition in Korea titled “Primitive/Modern.”



Selected Public Collections: 

Everson Museum of Art,

Portland Art Museum,

Saint Louis Art Museum

Museum of Decorative Arts, Paris, France,


Norwegian National Craft Museum, Norway,

Canterbury Museum, New Zealand,

Taiwan National Museum of History,

Icheon World Ceramic Center, South Korea

Gimhae National Museum, South Korea,

New South Wales Art University, Australi

The National Museum of modern Art, Tokyo,

Japan Foundation,

Museum of Modern Ceramic Art, Gifu,

The Museume of Ceramic Art, Hyogo

Everson Museum of Art , St. Louis Art Museum


1939  Born in Shigaraki, Shiga Prefecture

1963  Founding member of Shigaraki Craftman Association

1965  Gold Prize, Japan Ceramic Design Concours

1967  Joined Sodeisha group (~1985)

1976  Participated in 7th World Craft Council (Mexico)

1978  Coordinator of 8th World Craft Council (Kyoto, Shigaraki)

1979    Joined International Academy of Ceramics (IAC)

1980  Steering Committee, IAC General Assembly (Kyoto)

1981  Participated in IAC General Assembly (Paris)

1982  Lecturer, Kyoto City University of Arts (~1985)

1983  Organized Shigaraki-Tokoname Joint Exhibition

     Founding member of Shigaraki Sculpture Group

1984  Participated in IAC Boston Conference

     Participated in NCECA Boston Conference

           Special Prize, 1st International Miniature Triennale (Zagreb, Yugoslavia

1985  Coordinator of Shigaraki Symbol Monument Competition

1986  Award for Excellence, 1st Yagi Kazuo Award Exhibition

           Workshop and lecture, Norway National University of Art

1990  Board of Directors, World Ceramic Exposition (~1991)

1991  Commemorative Award, Juried Exhibition for Wood Fired Ceramics

1992  Workshop, Shigaraki Ceramic Cultural Park

1993  Keynote Lecture, 24th Ceramic Design Conference

     Design consultant, Otsuka Ohmi Ceramics Co., Inc.(~2009)

1995  Workshop, Shigaraki Ceramic Cultural Park

1996  Participated in IAC General Assembly (Saga, Nagoya)

1997  Lecturer, Department of Education, Shiga University(~2002)

2000  Lecture, International Ceramic Symposium, Kangnam University, Korea

2004  Designated by Koka City as Possessor of Important Intangible Cultural Asset 

      Participated in IAC General Assembly (Korea)

2005     Invited to 3rd Gyeonggido World Ceramic Biennale, (Icheon, Korea)

2011      IAC PARIS Members Exhibition(Paris)

      Invited to 6 Gyenggido World Ceramic Bennale,(yeoju,Korea)

2012   Shumei Cultural Award