The Department of Sculpture was launched in 1887 with the establishment of a sculpture course as a specialist program. This was later expanded into a plastic arts department in 1899. With the school’s transformation into Tokyo Geijutsu Daigaku in the 1949 educational reforms the department once again became the Department of Sculpture.
The current sculpture building on the Ueno Campus was built in 1971, and the doctoral program was established in 1977. Each year, a certain number of graduate students do their creative work at the Toride Campus. Since the 1997 academic year, first-year undergraduates have also studied at the Toride Campus.
The Department of Sculpture stresses the importance of developing highly sensitive graduates capable of developing a vision for the future of art from a broad-ranging, global perspective, based on the history of art to date and the traditions of Japanese art. It attempts to instill this perspective by focusing on a broad-ranging study of the plastic arts and seeks to cultivate graduates capable of working as creative artists, as well as providing instruction in various arts-related areas.
Faculty: Creative research is conducted in a manner that utilizes each student’s potential without being bound within the existing domains, thus acquiring and developing fundamental molding techniques.
Through lectures on training in ancient fine arts and sculpture theory, students acquire an enriched education and explore contemporary sculpture.
In the final year, students complete the sculpture work and display it at the exhibition of graduation projects.
Individuals with high aspirations of broadly contributing to society through expressions in sculpture are nurtured.
Master: Based on fundamental abilities and techniques acquired at the undergraduate level, specialized research and expressions in sculpture are proactively conducted from a broad range of perspectives.
Achievements are displayed at the exhibition of completed works in the students’ final year of study.
Doctor: Individuals who have obtained the Master’s degree can further expand and acquire highly specialized knowledge in their research theme.
Students create sculpture works and theses based on practical research activities (such as production, research, and internal and external presentations), and projects in collaboration with the community.
In their final year of study, the research results are presented at the doctoral exhibition.
Faculty: The bachelor’s degree is awarded once the specified course credits have been obtained and the graduation work has obtained a certain level of evaluation.
Master: The Master’s degree is awarded once the specified course credits have been obtained and the completed creative work has obtained a certain level of evaluation.
Doctor: The doctoral degree is awarded once both the creative work and dissertation have obtained a certain level of evaluation from the Review Committee comprising the teaching staff who supervised the creative work and those who have offered dissertation guidance.
The department’s research and education structure allows its seven studios to provide both basic and specialized cross-disciplinary instruction across the four fields of practice corresponding to the four materials and methods of molding and the carving of terracotta, stone, wood, and metal. In both undergraduate and graduate education, the program curriculum encourages students to pursue their creative and research work freely, drawing on their own talents, based on the program’s dedication to developing highly sensitive graduates free of the constraints and preconceptions of narrow clusters of practice.
For undergraduate education, the department regards the first and second years as years of basic training, emphasizing a broad-ranging study of forms. During these foundation years, students grapple with practical techniques in molding and stone, wood, and metal sculpture. Beginning in the third year, students split off into individual subfields of materials and practices. Under individual instructions, they pursue creative and research work with appropriate materials and directions designed to draw out their talent. In the second year, students visit and study Buddha statues and structures located in Nara and Kyoto under the auspices of the university’s Institute of Ancient Art Research, gaining familiarity with topics such as the ways in which Buddha statues have been created over time and changes in the materials used. In their fourth year, students create works that represent a crystallization of their years of learning and training. These works are then presented to the public in an exhibition of thesis projects.
In the master’s degree program, students are supported by and work within a unique educational structure based on studios tailored to each student’s research goals.
In addition, community-involvement programs encourage each student to draw fully on his or her talents, unconstrained by preconceived domains of practice and materials, thereby providing opportunities to examine the possibilities of art in connection with society.
In the doctoral program, students create works and write dissertations suited to their own highly specialized research objectives. Two forms of support are provided in the first year: guidance in creative and research work provided by the studios (by assigned advisers) and guidance with thesis preparation provided by the research center. In their second years, students seek out more advanced research domains with assistance from the instructors responsible for project and thesis guidance. In their third year, students complete exploratory projects and doctoral theses. The finished work is then presented to the public as part of the doctoral exhibition held at the university art museum. Doctoral theses are retained in the university library.
*Admissions policies (undergraduate)
Students are evaluated for general artistic capacity, including formative, structural, and expressive skills and basic three-dimensional expressive skills, to ensure they possess the broad range of capabilities needed to contribute to and create new contemporary sensibilities and works in creative sculpture. They are also assessed from a comprehensive perspective based on areas such as results of academic exams. In these ways, the department seeks to enroll students with high artistic sensibilities.
*Admissions policies (graduate)
Graduate programs seek to foster creativity, expressive skills, and research capacity, developing sculptors and researchers with the skills needed to create their own works and pursue independent research. It seeks students who wish to pursue more specialized studies in relation to sculpture based on the basic capabilities and techniques learned as undergraduates.