Flowers: Expressing the Movement of Lives
Introduction by Keiko Fukai
Sayaka Shingu lives surrounded by small fish, turtles, birds, small animals, dogs, and flowers in her garden. Whenever she finds time, she goes with her son and husband to nearby streams and fields to catch crayfish or insects, and nurture them. Caring for and observing life is her daily routine and pleasure.
Her monotone flower ceramics are her signature works, but she says that she is not trying to depict form of flowers, but rather to express the final stage of a flower’s life. Despite being made of hard ceramic, the works remind me an interval shot of a flower blooming. She says that her ceramic flowers are created in a way that could not happen with actual flowers, but in any case, there is a movement of life in it. It goes without saying that her love for life, which is eventually going to die, is the principal of her daily life and is strongly reflected in her works.
She feels that if she gets too absorbed in detailed work, she will lose touch with what she has expressed, so recently she has been searching for a more relaxed way to express life. We look forward to seeing her new works in the future.
When I observe flowers, I cannot help but be in awe of the cycle of life that connects this life to the next. I feel that simply imitating the flower is not enough to express what is important to me, so I mix my feelings with the actual shape of the flower to create the form.
I feel the expression and life of people in the shape and time of a flower as it buds, blooms, and withers. I do not know what it is that makes me feel a sense of awe at the same time as I admire their beauty.
My work is like a journey to explore the connection between flowers, myself, and something that inspires a sense of awe.
In order to eliminate the information that the viewer receives from the colors, my work is often done in monotone. The core of the flower is formed by hand and attached with needle-like needles and tweezers. The petals are formed one by one with clay kneaded with black pigment. Both of these processes are very time-consuming, but by expressing the energy that resides in the movement of each core and the writhing of the petals, I feel that I am just one step closer to the meaning of a beautiful flower blooming on the border between life and death. Once it is fired in the kiln, it can be captured the moment.
I have been creating black works since 2010, but I wanted to move away from the impression that the color black gives people. Rather than the image of fading away, I started to create white works in the hope of expressing the time in the future, when life is in transition and moving toward new life.
I am amazed by the mystery and splendor of life in the natural world, and I create my works with the sincere desire to get as close to it as possible, while learning from it.