Shigeki Hayashi’s Science Fiction-Influenced Ceramic Sculptures

by Nastia VoynovskayaPosted on

Multitudinous and identical, the subjects of Shigeki Hayashi’s ceramic works are fearless, brazen babies. These infants appear to be inspired by contemporary science fiction and Japanese Manga, but the roots of Shigeki’s work run deeper, to several Japanese traditions. The somewhat unusual baby motif, as gallerist Aki Nakanishi revealed in an essay about the artist, stems from the 900 AD story “Taketori-Monogatari,” where a woodcutter discovers a baby from the moon in a bamboo tree — perhaps one of the first science fiction narratives in existence. Hayashi’s works at times resemble dolls or action figures, and intentionally so. The artist toys with the idea of mass production, giving his work a polished, refined look that makes it appear machine-made, though each piece is sculpted from clay using Japanese ceramic techniques that date back to the 13th century.

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