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    Shinichi Sawada

    *1982, Japan

    Shinichi Sawada was born in Shiga Prefecture in Japan. He attended a special school for several years, as he is autistic, and communicates very little.

    Around the turn of the millennium Shinichi Sawada began to create ceramic figures, while he was attending a local care institution. There he worked in assembling electronic components, and sometimes also in a workshop that included a kiln. He now works as a baker in Kusatsu, Shiga Prefecture, in a social institution for people with disabilities, but also visits the pottery workshop several times a week. Shinichi Sawada’s figures arise from his personal vision and his love of thorns. Over time, the thorns have become sharper and sharper. Their significance is uncertain. His figures are based on about 15 subjects, and he reproduces existing pieces repeatedly. His works represent animals such as hares, owls and hens, but also dragons and composite creatures that are part dragon and part demon. He works rapidly, producing a complete figure within a few days. The sculptures are fired by employees of the institution. In August 2013 the cover of ‘art’ magazine featured a figure by Sawada, marking the 55th Biennale in Venice, which brought him to the attention of a wider art-loving public.

    His work can be seen in the Collection de l’Art Brut in Lausanne, The Museum of Everything and in the collection of Karin and Gerhard Dammann, Switzerland. Shinichi Sawada continues to live and work in Shiga Prefecture in Japan. As of 2021, Shinichi Sawada has also been represented in the 921 works of the “Donation d'Art Brut de Bruno Decharme” at the Centre Pompidou in Paris.


    Selected works



    © Hannah Rieger
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    All Photos (rooms and artworks): Maurizio Maier
    Concept & Layout: VISUAL°S