Nao Matsunaga (b 1980 in Japan), trained at the University of Brighton before completing an MA in Ceramics and Glass at the Royal College of Art.

Inspired by Neolithic and modern architecture, ceremonial objects, rituals and spaces, Matsunaga’s practice combines a considered balance of raw organic forms with more controlled marks and lines, using the juxtaposition of both abstract and more recognisable sculpted forms and materials, to explore how individuals interact with their surrounding objects and spaces. He is interested in creating and capturing a sense of movement within still objects, and achieving a balance between rawness and control, stillness and movement. His practice speaks of enduring human concerns and personal and collective experience.

Matsunaga has exhibited widely, and completed a six-month ceramics residency at the Victoria and Albert Museum in 2014, where he is included in the public collection. Other residencies include Cove Park, Scotland in 2010, Arizona State University Art Museum in 2013 and Cranbrook Academy of Art, Detroit in 2014. He was a finalist of the Jerwood Makers Open in 2012 and won the British Ceramics Biennial Award in 2013.


2015           Standing On The Verge/Live Up, British Ceramics Biennial
2015           Mumbo Jumbo Kathedral, Galleri Format, Oslo, Norway
2015           Monster Rock Circle, Marsden Woo, London
2014           Live Up/Blank Totem, London Design Festival Victoria & Albert Museum, London
2013           We Are New Here, Arizona State University Museum, Combine studios, Phoenix, AZ.
2012           My Primal Memory, Daiwa Japan House, London
2012           Stones and Bones, Marsden Woo Gallery, London
2011            Introducing; Nao Matsunaga, Kerry Jameson, Dawn Youll Marsden Woo, London
2008           This Place is Made of Rocks, Konstfack, Stockholm, Sweden.
2006           Bath and Doorway, Hockney gallery. Royal College of Art, London
2002           Starecase, Mojoe. Church Street, Brighton.

Awards & Scholarships

2016           Bursary, British Council, Indonesia
2016           Bursary, Japan Foundation, Indonesia
2015           Bursary, Art Council of Norway
2013           Winner, British Ceramics Biannual Award
2013           Windgate fellowship for ASU Residency
2012           Winner, Jerwood Makers Open 2012.
2010           Shortlisted, Arts foundation fellowship for Ceramics.
2010           Bursary, Cove Park, Scotland
2008           Bursary, Anglo Sweden Society
2007           Maintenance Grant, Leverhulme Trust

Public Collections:

Victoria and Albert Museum, London
York Museum and Art Gallery, York, UK

Courtesy of Marsden Woo Gallery, London.  Photos © Philip Sayer