Shigaraki Ceramic Cultural Park, Residency Program

  • Open Call:Available
  • Grant for travel expenses:Conditional
  • Grant for production:Conditional
  • Grant for living costs:Available
  • Support by staff or specialist:Available
  • Studio:Available
  • Exhibit Space:Available
  • Accommodation:Available
  • Exhibition or Open Studio:Available
  • Publication:Available

Focus Area(s):This program specializes in ceramics as a medium; however, creators of contemporary art are also accepted.

Months of Residency:2018/04 - 2019/03:Except for December 28 to January 4. See details below.

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Months of Application:2017/09 - 2017/10:Accepts application until November 1 for FY2018 or on vacancy.

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Application Guideline

Focus Area(s)

This program specializes in ceramics as a medium; however, creators of contemporary art are also accepted.

Residency Period / Application Period
●Residency Period
○ Guest artists (invited artists): from 1 to 3 months
○ Studio artists: from 1 month to 1 year
●Application Period
○ Guest artists: accepts application until the end of October or on vacancy.
○ Studio artists: accepts application until the end of October or on vacancy.
Number of Resident Artists
○ Guest artists: Approx. 6 individuals per year
○ Studio artists: Approx. 30 individuals per year
Conditions / Provisions
●Age limit: Yes
●Specification of countries: No
○ Basic experience about ceramics is required.
○ Guest artists are requested to contribute their work and are required to cooperate in events held by Shigaraki Ceramic Cultural Park, such as open studios.
[For guest artists]
1. Traveling expense: Available
2. Production fee: Available for guest artist (¥210,000)
 3. Living cost: Available for guest artist (¥200,000 - 450,000)Assistance for communication is available in Japanese and English.
 4. Technical support for skills such as materials and firing is available.
 5. We actively hold exhibitions of residents for as long as their duration of stay permits.
 6. Regular visits are made to Shigaraki Pottery and other places of interest.
Application Procedure
Submission of application documents (application form, essay) and visual images or data of artworks
* For studio artists and open call guest artists only
Screening Process
After screening by the selection committee, we adjust the duration of the stay.

Facilities Information

Program Name
Shigaraki Ceramic Cultural Park, Artist-In-Residence Program
Administrative Organization
The Foundation of Shigaraki Ceramic Cultural Park
Administrative Body
New Industry Promotion Division, Department of Commerce, Industry, Tourism and Labor, Shiga Prefecture
Facility Name
Shigaraki Ceramic Cultural Park
Facility Address
2188-7 Chokushi, Shigaraki, Koka, Shiga Prefecture
Facility Description
⚪︎Production room 1 (228m2), Production room 2 (138m2), kiln room, glazing room and others
⚪︎Administrative Building: office (General Affairs Section), director's office, manager's office, reception room, building manager's office, storeroom, library, audiovisual room (capacity: 46 individuals)
⚪︎The equipment and tools are only available for artists staying in the facility. As for kilns, a kiln rental service is available for outside persons. There are five gas kilns, four electric kilns, and seven wood-fired kilns, including Anagama.
⚪︎The Exhibition space: Available
* This space is only available for artists staying in the facility.
⚪︎Training Building: instructor's room (Creativity Training Section), 2 communal workshops, clay storeroom, drying room, gypsum room, glazing room, storeroom
⚪︎Accomodation: Available
There is a communal kitchen and a saloon.
: 3 guest rooms, 10 single rooms, dining room, kitchen, salon, and laundry room.
The accommodations are only available for artists staying in the facility.
Surrounding Environment
The Shigaraki Ceramic Cultural Park is located in Shigaraki, one of the six ancient kiln sites of Japan. It is close to the Nagano district in Shigaraki where visitors can find many pottery factories, as well as the Shigarakinomiya Ruins where Emperor Shomu began to build temples. The surrounding environment makes it easy for visitors to experience the area’s history including the history of Shigaraki ware.
○ By train:
From JR “Kusatsu” Station, take the Kusatsu Line to “Kisegawa” station; transfer to the Shigaraki Kogen Railway; get off at “Shigaraki” station. The Ceramic Cultural Park is a 20-minute walk from the station
The Shigaraki Ceramic Cultural Park is designed to fulfil diverse functions featuring the use of ceramics as materials, including the creation of works, workshops and exhibitions. It is also intended to form a base for promoting local industry, creating new culture, and sending information toward the rest of the world from Shiga through exchanges of people, objects and information. It was completed and opened in June 1990; an Artist-in-Residence program was initiated in 1992.
Year of (Program) Commencement
Program Objectives
The program is for holding events to allow people in Shiga Prefecture to gain a better understanding of and feel a closer affinity to ceramics. Such events would be opportunities for ceramics-related exchanges. The program is also aimed at promoting the ceramics industry and developing culture in the prefecture by administering the Shigaraki Ceramic Cultural Park. Under the above-mentioned objectives, the following projects are conducted.
1. Citizen-friendly Facility Project
○ Make the Park function-rich
○ Open the facility to the public
2. Development and Exchange of Culture Projects
○ Exhibition program
○ Creative program (Artist-in-residence program)
3. Promotion of Industry Projects
○ Promoting the ceramics industry in the prefecture
○ Attracting visitors as a tourist base
Program Activities
The creative training hall started accepting ceramic artists from around the world from its opening in 1992. Since then, it has provided opportunities for artists to produce work freely in Shigaraki. There is no curriculum. Therefore, artists can create their work according to their own plans in the creative training hall, the creative space. The facility is regularly occupied by around 10 ceramic artists working in the hall. The deepening of their exchanges with other artists with different styles and of different nationalities is expected to make the workshop environment even more stimulating.
By the end of fiscal year 2016, the number of artists having produced artworks at Shigaraki Ceramic Cultural Park totaled about 1,150, accepted from some 50 countries.
The Park has a total of about 10 studio artists and guest artists working on their ceramics on a regular basis. On a yearly basis, it welcomes about 40 studio artists and invites about six guest artists. The Park also occasionally holds events including public lectures delivered by art critics and researchers.
○ FY 2016
The Park invited eight guest artists and welcomed 56 studio artists (including participants in projects supported by the Agency for Cultural Affairs) from inside and outside Japan. In order to enhance cultural exchange between traditional elements of ceramics unique to Shigaraki—an area famous for the production of pottery—and current trends in the craft, the Park disseminated information through its Creative Training Hall Open Studio and Public Lecture events.
In addition, while the Park had conventionally only accepted artists, with support from the Agency for Cultural Affairs, its 2016 Residence International Cultural Exchange Promotion Program sent a total of four Japanese ceramic artists abroad to Tainan National University of the Arts and to the European Ceramic Work Centre.
Furthermore, commissioned by the Union of Kansai Governments, the Park held the “International Symposium: Kansai Artists in Residence in Shigaraki ‘Possibilities and Assessments of Artists in Residence Programs,’” which presented the Union’s pioneering efforts made in artist-in-residence programs conducted in its member prefectures, allowed participants to share the results of the programs, reinforced the programs’ capacity for information dissemination, and strengthened the collaborative partnership between the programs.
○ FY 2015
The Park invited 12 guest artists and welcomed 46 studio artists. It held seven open studios and 19 exhibitions of artworks produced by artists who were then staying in the Park’s facilities. In addition, the opportunity to organize and hold its “25th Anniversary Commemorative Event—International Ceramic Art Workshop and Symposium—From the perspective of the Artists in Residence: ‘Shigaraki’s View of the World, The World’s View of Shigaraki’ ” with support from the Agency for Cultural Affairs allowed the Park to share its thoughts with participants on the residence project management. Presentations given by representatives from centers and organizations in participating countries—and by Japanese ceramic artists who had stayed there—provided the participants with opportunities to find out about the current circumstances of the residencies in the participating countries and to develop a global network based on the theme of pottery.
○ FY 2014
The Park invited six guest artists and welcomed 50 studio artists. It held 18 exhibitions of artworks produced by residence representatives and eight events including open studios. In addition, the then recently increasing number of studio artists from China motivated the Park to hold a small-scale symposium: “The State of Ceramics in China.” In this symposium, two Chinese studio artists who were then staying at the Park’s facilities, and one of the Park’s former studio artists who once participate in a residency program in Jingdezhen discussed the possibility of mutual cooperation.
○ FY 2013
The Park invited 11 guest artists and welcomed 46 studio artists. In addition, it engaged the services of Mr. Etsuji Noguchi in holding a demonstration on how to build a switch back kiln and fire ceramics in a switch back kiln. Furthermore, the Park held a total of 11 events including open studios and lecture sessions.
○ FY 2012
The Park invited six guest artists and welcomed 31 studio artists. The opportunity to invite Leiko Ikemura, a contemporary artist, who during her stay created the monumental sculpture Usagi Kannon (lit. “Rabbit Goddess of Mercy”), invigorating the Park’s studios by bringing the contemporary artist’s perspective to ceramic art.
Furthermore, in order to publicize and promote opportunities for artists and non-experts to interact on the theme of ceramic art, the Park offered venues by holding eight Creative Training Hall Open Studios.
Past Residents
Adil Writer, Aldo Rontini, Astrid Gerhartz, Carlos Carle, Carol McNicoll, Ching-yuan Chang, Daniel Pontoreau, Gwyn Hanssen Pigotto, Iwao Shinno, Jacques Kaufmann, Jennifer Lee, Jon Petty John, Jun Kaneko, Kato Kiyoji, Kazuhiko Miwa, Kim Simonsson, Kimpei Nakamura, Kwang-ho Woo, Leiko Ikemura, Ling-Yun Zhang, Liz Williams, Marea Gazzard, Masayuki Imai, Mitsuo Syoji, Mutsuo Yanagihara, Nathalie Lahdenmaki, Ole Lislerud, Paul Soldner, Pekka Paikkaari, Pekka Paikkari, Peter Voulkos, Sadashi Inuzuka, Sandor Kecskemeti, Sandro Lorenzini, Shiro Hayashi, Stephanie Quayle, Sueharu Hukami, Syoichi Ikeda, Tadayasu Sasayama, Takashi Nakazato, Toshiko Takaezu, Warren MacKenjie, Yamada Akira, Yasuhiko Kida, Yasuyoshi Sugiura, Yoshimura Toshiharu, Yoshitomo Nara
The Foundation of Shigaraki Ceramic Cultural Park
The Shigaraki Ceramic Cultural Park, 2188-7 Chokushi, Shigaraki-cho, Koka City, Shiga 529-1804 Japan
Contact Person: Yuki Ando
Last modified
May 30, 2017