2019 YUKUHASHI International Figurative Sculpture Competition

The ancient route called the Silk Road played a significant role in cultural exchange between Greece, Rome, Persia, India, China, Korea, and Japan. Japan was the beneficiary of the art, religion, philosophy, technology, science, and architecture from these areas. The Shosoin Repository in Nara, the capital of ancient Japan, has preserved the artifacts coming over this route for over 1,200 years. These precious works first arrived in Yukuhashi in Kyushu and were then shipped Nara.

During ancient times Yukuhashi was the site from which Kyushu specialty products were shipped to the capital as taxes, as well as the harbor from which ships set out for distant Korea and China. According to historical records, Yukuhashi was one of the regions governed by the fabled Queen Himiko and is an area of historical significance.

Yukuhashi is a relatively small city with a population of only 70,000 people, but it is full of historical romance and local culture. In order to further enrich the  cultural life of local residents and enhance the reputation of the city, the city government has decided to hold an international figurative sculpture competition.

The Yukuhashi International Figurative Sculpture Competition will be a biennale event. All experienced, professional sculptors, both domestic and foreign, are invited to submit proposals for consideration. One sculpture will be chosen as the Best Artwork, and ten million yen will be awarded to the winning artist/artists. It is our sincere hope that the award-winning sculpture will be passed on to future generations as part of our cultural heritage.

The theme for the contest is “historical figures.” The artwork of the award winner will be displayed at cultural facilities in Yukuhashi city, including the municipal library. Consequently, it is important that the historical figures depicted be familiar to local citizens. We look forward to entries from sculptors from around the world.

Call for Entries

Awards and Prizes

Grand Prize (1) JPY10,000,000
The Grand Prize will not be awarded if no work is deemed worthy of the prize.
Artists must bear all production costs. The ownership rights of the complete artwork, the maquettes of the whole statue and of the head will be transferred to Yukuhashi City.

Citizens Award (1) JPY200,000
The winner will be decided by the citizens of YUKUHASHI City by popular vote.The ownership rights of the maquettes of the whole statue and of the head will be transferred to Yukuhashi City.

Award for Excellence (1-5) JPY100,000
All artists who have successfully completed the first round review are qualified to win this award.

Artwork Theme

Historical figures who have contributed to the development of civilization through their knowledge and intelligence and are suitable to install in public facilities.

Application Period

January 10, 2018 – March 31, 2018

Applicant Eligibility

All individuals or artistic groups (regardless of age or nationality) who can attend the social events related to this competition are welcome to submit entries. Each individual artist or group is eligible for one entry only. The sculptures submitted for entry should be unpublished.


All entries must be figurative sculptures. They must be life-size or smaller, but not larger. The completed sculptures are to be made in bronze. The details regarding the size of the pedestal will be decided by the executive committee.

Application Procedure

Applicants should fill in the entry form and send the digital data of the maquettes of the entire sculpture and the head to the executive committee. Artists from Japan are required to attach proof of payment of the application fee (see below). The preferred height of the maquette of the whole figure is 50 cm. The maquette size itself should be basically the same whether the figure is standing or sitting. The head maquette should be actual size. Applicants have two ways of presenting their work via digital devices (as explained below).

80 photos are needed for both maquettes of the entire sculpture and the head. Photos should be taken from all angles except from directly below and be saved as JPEGs in CD-R or DVD-R discs for submission. The backgrounds of the photos should not be monochrome, and should show the piece in perspective in a natural setting, avoiding a feeling of flatness. The pixel count should be around 3,000,000.
* Details are in the attached sheet “How to take photos”.

Artists need to submit a one-minute video of the maquettes of the entirety and the head. The video should be taken from all angles except from directly below. The file should be saved on a CD-R or DVD-R disc in wmv, mpegps, avi, mpeg4, mov, or fly format. Furthermore, 3 photos of the front and both sides are required, either printed on paper or as digital data.
* 3D images will be created based on the photos for the first round review.
* Artists are encouraged to submit documents regarding their work along with other entry items. Plan drawings, CG, and sketches are preferable.
* Please note that all digital data, including photos, videos, and explanatory materials, will not be returned.

Application Fee

■Artists in Japan must pay an application fee of JPY5,000.
* Artists abroad are not required to pay this fee.
■The application fee is non-refundable.
■Applicants should pay bank handling charges.
Bank Account Details:
Bank: Fukuoka Bank, Yukuhashi Branch
Account: 2600508 (savings account)
Executive Committee of International Figurative Sculpture Artwork Recruitment of Yukuhashi

Judging Process

① First Round Review
The first round review will be held in April 2018. The committee will decide on the award winners based on entry documents, 3D images (made by photos of the maquettes) of the artworks or video. Up to five sculptures will be chosen as winners, and the results will be announced on our website. 

② Second Round Review
The second round review will be held in June 2018. The grand prize winner will be decided based on the maquettes of the whole and the head. Please use durable materials, such as resin and plaster, to create both maquettes. Citizens of YUKUHASHI will vote on the winners, and the result will be announced on our website.

The awards ceremony will be held in March 2019. The winning sculptures should be delivered to the executive committee by the end of February 2019.


The winners are obliged to pay for all expenses for transporting their artwork, including packing charges. Exhibiting artists should purchase insurance for their sculptures in advance. The executive committee will purchase insurance for the sculptures during the period that they are secured at the municipal facilities. The maximum assessed value for insurance coverage is JPY100,000.

Judging Committee

* Masahiro Ushiroshoji(Professor, Graduate School of Kyushu University, research field: art history; Board Member of Kyushu Art Association; reviewer of the Asian Cultural and Art Award of Fukuoka)
* Toshiro Mineta(Sculptor; former Professor of Tsukuba University; Professor Emeritus at Joetsu University of Education)
* Shigeyoshi Suzuki(Editor; former Art Editor at Kodansha International Ltd.) 
*The Mayor of Yukuhashi City

Special Judging Committee

* Nobuyuki Okumura (the winner of the 2017 Yukuhashi Sculpture Competition)


* The executive committee is not responsible for any damage or defacement caused by the inherent quality of the material, structural defects or natural disasters. Exhibiting artists should acknowledge this possibility and arrange for their own insurance if necessary.
* Sculptures susceptible to damage during transport are not eligible for entry.
* Sculptures of artists from abroad will not be returned after the competition.
* All award winners must acknowledge that they have given authorization to the executive committee to exploit their artworks for the purpose of display and promotion.
* All applicants are responsible for handling any problems regarding copyright.
* Prizes will be cancelled unconditionally if the sculptures are discovered to be plagiarized, copied or created by people other than the awarded artists.


Executive Committee of International Figurative Sculpture Artwork Recruitment of Yukuhashi:
1-9-2, Chuo, Yukuhashi City, Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan
Postal Code: 824-0005

Executive Committee of International Figurative Sculpture Artwork Recruitment of Yukuhashi

Joint Hosts:
Yukuhashi Culture Promotion Foundation, Yukuhashi Educational Committee

Shuji Tanaka (Professor, Oita University)

Association of Artwork and Culture Promotion of Yukuhashi