After graduating in 1973 from Tokyo National University of Fine Art and Music with a focus in industrial arts, Sugiura went on to complete his postgraduate studies in ceramic arts in 1975 at the same university under Fujimoto Yoshimichi Nōdō (1919-1992) and Tamura Kōichi (1918-1987). In 2008, he was awarded a grant from Musée Tomo to study in West Africa. In 2013, he received the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award from the Japanese Ceramics Society. Throughout his career, Sugiura has created three different series of works all that share the same theme, “nature.”
Sugiura’s “Ceramic Stones” series for which he is probably best know, began early in his career when a teacher of his suggested, “ceramics are stones”. Using a plaster model, his ceramic stones continued to grow, culminating in monumental installation pieces reminiscent of structures like the Stonehenge. His other installation series, “Ceramic Forests” was inspired after Sugiura started living amidst the nature of Manazuru, Kanagawa Prefecture. In this series, he created many multi-colored stacks of ceramic “blocks”, each of which represent a grove of tre3s. His goal is to translate the energy and boldness of a forest into clay sculpture. Similarly, since 2010, Sugiura has been developing his “Ceramics Flowers” series in an attempt to convey the power of nature even in the brief life of a flower.
13 3/4 x 29 1/2 x 28 inches
9 7/8 x 20 7/8 x 20 1/2 inches
Ceramic sculpture of a butterbur sprout
18 1/8 x 24 3/8 x 22 7/8 in.
Sculpture of a Magnolia
9 7/8 x 19 5/8 x 19 5/8 in.
Stoneware sculpture of a Camellia
8 x 4 3/4 x 3 1/4 inches