Artist-in-Residence (AIR) Opportunities in Japan

According to the comprehensice Artist In Residence (AIR) database in Japan, there are several AIR business models dedicated to ceramic arts. Ceramic Arts Queensland is initiating a program to introduce Australian ceramic artists to AIR opportunities in Japan.

There are currently four major public AIR enterprises actively engaged in ceramic arts and they have formed a study group to promote and support AIR programs in the field of ceramic arts in Japan:

  • The Shigaraki Ceramic Cultural Park (SCCP) 2188-7 Shigarakicho-Chokushi, Koka-city, Shiga-Pref, Japan 529-1804
  • Mashiko Arts & Craft Residence/Mashiko Museum of Ceramic Art 3021 Mashiko, Mashiko-machi, Haga-gun, Tochigi-Pref, Japan 321-4217
  • Seto Ceramics and Glass Art Center 81-2 Minami Nakanokiri-machi, Seto-city, Aichi-Pref, Japan 439-0815
  • Kyoto Art Center 546-2 Yamabushiyama-machi, Muromachi-dori, Nakakyou-ku, Kyoto-Fu, Japan 604-8156

You can check the details by visiting their websites and making sure that you click on “translate into English”.

Out of four, SCCP and Mashiko are dedicated to ceramic arts. SCCP in the past had 16 Australian artists including Gwyn Hanssen Pigott and Mitsuo Shoji. Mashiko used to be the “go-to” place for Australian potters, but the tide has changed and many go to Korea and China instead.

Mashiko is the birthplace of late Shoji Hamada who had a formidable relationship with Bernard Leach that made Mashiko what it is today.

SCCP was established in 1992 and has wonderful facilities well catered for AIR including a 10-room dormitory and about a dozen kilns; gas, electric and wood-fired. Mashiko started the AIR program in 2014 inviting mostly English artists. Their facilities include a 2-room dormitory, and various types of kilns. Both have excellent ceramic art galleries.

SCCP invites public application for up to 30 artists a year as a studio artist and also guest artist for up to 2 a year. Studio artists pay their expenses including use of facilities and accommodation. Overall it will cost around A$1,200/$1,400 mark for 2-month stay. For guest artists most of the expenses are paid by SCCP including airfares and firing.

Mashiko has invited UK potters since its inception, but back in 2016 they adopted the public invitation for two artists a year. The invited artists’ expenses are met by Masahiko Town Office including airfares (up to $1,700) and accommodation.

For AIR programs with SCCP and Mashiko, the public application will open in September each year and the residency will start around April-May in the following year for about 45 days to 2-month stay. The application forms will be posted on their websites in mid-year.

CAQ would like to take the initiative by acting as a “go-between”/intermediary and give our members an opportunity to acquire further skill and knowledge while interacting with local and international artists under AIR programs. Ceramic Arts Queensland has established a good relationship with SCCP and Mashiko, and are happy to assist you in any way possible.

For further enquiries, email:

“A Sentence of Teapots” 2014 Photo: Richard Stringer
“A Sentence of Teapots” 2014 Photo: Richard Stringer

Find AIR opportunities in the Japanese Artist in Residence database