Press Release - Shadow of Sodeisha - Japanese and Irish Art in Clay


[17-06] Shadow of Sodeisha - Japanese and Irish Art in Clay

At the National Museum of Ireland - Decorative Arts and History, Collins Barracks, Benburb Street, Dublin 7

On Thursday 30th March at the National Museum of Ireland – Decorative Arts & History, H.E Mari Miyoshi Japanese Ambassador to Ireland will officially launch a new exhibition  “Shadow of Sodeisha – Japanese and Irish art in clay. The exhibition showcases the work of contemporary Irish and Japanese ceramicists.

In order to mark the 60th anniversary of the official commencement of diplomatic relations between Ireland and Japan in 1957, this exhibition displays the work of twelve leading contemporary ceramic artists from both countries.  The title Shadow of Sodeisha takes its name from the Japanese post-war avant-garde ceramic movement, founded in 1948.

The Sodeisha or ‘Crawling through the Mud Association’ aimed to reject traditional historical precedents. They favoured instead work rooted in the international models and idealism of modernist art through the use of clay in abstract sculpture. Paying homage to this, one of Japan’s greatest contributions to 20th century world art, twelve artists (six representing Japan and six representing Ireland) were invited to participate in this show. The Irish artists include Isobel Egan, Frances Lambe, Deirdre McLoughlin, Michael Moore, Nuala O’Donovan and Katharine West. The artists representing Japan include some of the best known early 21st century followers of the innovative approach of the original Sodeisha artists: Satoru Hoshino, Jia-haur Liang, Akito Morino, Mitsuo Shoji, Kazuo Takiguchi and Hidemi Tokutake.

Commenting on the exhibition, Raghnall Ó Floinn – Director of the National Museum stated; ”One of the founding principles of the Dublin Science and Art Museum of 1877 was to provide the people of Ireland with an opportunity to see the finest examples of  industrial and decorative arts from around the world in order to inspire Irish artists and designers. These collections included ancient and contemporary works from Asia – in particular from India, China and Japan. This exhibition therefore represents a return to these principals, highlighting the Museum’s international collections and its role in promoting and commissioning the best of contemporary design, both in Ireland and in Japan. The Museum would like to acknowledge the generous support given by the Japan Foundation and the Design and Crafts Council of Ireland”.

H.E Mari Miyoshi Japanese Ambassador to Ireland said: "It gives me great pleasure to see the launch of this exhibition which celebrates the creative connections between Japan and Ireland, and highlights the finest Japanese contemporary ceramics. The Japanese and Irish artists who are on display are respected throughout the art world, and this exhibition will highlight the wonderful creative exchanges between Japanese and Irish artists that may not be common knowledge. As we celebrate the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Japan and Ireland I think it’s key that we highlight the wide variety of fields in which our countries have links."
  • Maureen Gaule, Marketing Executive, Marketing Department,
  • Ann Daly, Head of Marketing, Marketing Department,
Notes to the Editor:
A Photocall will take place at 5.00pm on Thursday 30th March in the Exhibition space at the NMI, Collins Barracks.
Additional information on the exhibition can be found on;
The above exhibition is open to the Public from 10.00am on Friday 31st March 2017 – January 2018.
Images from the photocall and launch will be available from
Paul Sherwood – Photographer 087 2309096
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