The 3rd YUKUHASHI International Figurative Sculpture Competition

YUKUHASHI Biennale 2021

Yukuhashi City is located on the island of Kyushu in the eastern part Fukuoka Prefecture, facing the Seto Inland Sea. It has a population of 73,000 people. In olden times it flourished as a nexus between the Asian continent, Kyushu, and Nara, which was the capital of Japan, and boasted a rich culture.

The YUKUHASHI BIENNALE is an international public sculpture exhibition whose purpose is to solicit and display sculpture representing figures of significance in world history. By displaying award-winning statues in familiar public sites in the city, it is hoped that they will serve as reminders of man’s illustrious past and make Yukuhashi a cultural center where people can live culturally rich lives. With this in mind, the Biennale was inaugurated in 2017.

The YUKUHASHI BIENNALE is characterized by the fact that submissions must consists solely of figurative sculpture. Today, with the boundaries of the art of sculpture growing ever broader, the YUKUHASHI BIENNALE is an attempt to focus once again on the human figure with its long prehistoric history and reassess its value and possibilities as a means of expression.

While the theme of the 1st and 2nd YUKUHASHI BIENNALE was a historical figure who contributed to the development of civilization, a particular historical figure was not stipulated. For the 3rd Biennale, however, we would like to name a specific figure as the theme. That person, the centennial of whose death will be celebrated in 2020, was born and raised in Yukuhashi and was an extraordinary contributor to the West’s understanding of Japan. His name is Suematsu Kenchō (1855–1920).

While Suematsu is chiefly known for his political activities as Home Minister in the cabinet of Itō Hirobumi, he also left a rich cultural legacy—beginning with his history of the Meiji Restoration called Bōchō kaiten-shi (History of Chōshū’s Dramatic Resurgence) and including the first English translation of The Tale of Genji and his Japanese rendering into Japanese of William Anderson’s groundbreaking The Pictorial Arts of Japan. Thus Suematsu was important not only politically but also in the fields of art and literature. He played an important role in laying the foundation for Japan as a modern state in international society.

Though a remarkably talented man with a broad international perspective, Suematsu is not a name that is widely known today. On the other hand, however, his achievements during the Meiji period were extraordinary. He could be called one of the great influencers of the period. YUKUHASHI BIENNALE 2021 thus calls for submissions that give substantial, imaginative form to this unique individual.
Call for Entries

Suematsu Kenchō

Application Requirements

【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 (5) JPY100,000
All artists who have successfully completed the first round review are qualified to win this award.

Children’s Grand Prize (1) Trophy
The winner will be chosen by Yukuhashi City elementary and junior high school students. The ownership rights of the a maquette of the whole statue and of the head will be transferred to Yukuhashi City.

【The Artwork Theme】

Historical figures who have contributed to the development of civilization through their knowledge and intelligence:
The Great Influencer of the Meiji period Suematsu Kenchō.

【Display Site】

Square in front of JR Yukuhashi Station (tentative).

【Application Period】

December 1, 2019—March 31, 2020

【Applicant Eligibility】

All individuals or artistic groups (regardless of age or nationality) are eligible.
The Grand Prize winner must be able to attend the awards ceremony (tentatively March 2021).
Submission must be made as individuals or as groups. Each individual 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, but not any 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. 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).

①Photos 10 photos are needed for both maquettes of the entire sculpture and the head. Photos should be taken from all angles and saved as JPEGs in CD-R or DVD-R discs for submission. The pixel count should be around 5,000,000 at 300 dpi (105mm x 148mm). The maximum size of the file should be 7 MB.
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. The file should be saved on a CD-R or DVD-R disc in wmv, mpegps, avi, mpeg4, mov, or flv format. Furthermore, 3 photos of the front and both sides are required, either printed on paper or as digital data.

* 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.
* Include a copy of a document certifying that the application fee has been transmitted.

【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 Bank code: 0177, branch number 451 Account: 2600508 (savings account) Beneficiary:Executive Committee of International Figurative Sculpture Artwork Recruitment of Yukuhashi

【Judging Process】

① First Round Review
The first round review will be held in May 2020. The committee will decide on the winners of the Award for Excellence based on entry documents and the photos or the 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 July 2020. The Grand Prize award 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 select by vote the winner of the Citizens Award from among the winners of the Award for Excellence. Elementary and junior high school students of Yukuhashi City will select by vote the winner of the Children’s Grand Prize from among the winners of the Award for Excellence. The winners will be notified of the results and announced on our website.

The awards ceremony will be held in March 2021.
The winning sculptures should be delivered to the executive committee by the end of February 2021.


The winners are obliged to pay for all expenses for transporting their artwork, including packing charges. Every possible care will be taken in managing artwork from the time of arrival at the site to the time of departure, but the executive committee is not responsible for any damage or defacement caused by the inherent quality of the material, structural defects or natural disasters. When damage occurs due to negligence of the executive committee, the executive committee will respond with utmost sincerity. Compensation for damages will be made up to JPY100,000.

【Judging Committee】

* Masahiro Ushiroshoji(Professor, Graduate School of Kyushu University)

* Toshiro Mineta(Sculptor; Professor Emeritus at Joetsu University of Education)

* Shigeyoshi Suzuki(Editor; former Art Editor at Kodansha International Ltd.)

* Koji Tanada (Sculptor)

*Jun Tanaka (Mayor of Yukuhashi City)

【Special Judge】

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


* Sculptures susceptible to damage during transport are not eligible for entry.

* Sculptures of artists from abroad will not be returned after the competition. Sculptures of artists from within Japan will be returned after April 2021.

* 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

E-mail : Contact us (Please contact us by e-mail.)
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