shinji ohmaki's delicately carved vessels cast shadows of flowers at national art center, tokyo

shinji ohmaki's delicately carved vessels cast shadows of flowers at national art center, tokyo

Shinji Ohmaki: Interface of Being at National Art Center, Tokyo

 

Known for his expansive installations exploring the essence of existence and challenging viewers’ somatic perceptions, Japanese artist Shinji Ohmaki unveils his latest exhibition titled Interface of Being at Tokyo’s National Art Center. With a height of 8 meters and an area of 2,000 sqm, the spacious venue accommodates the large installations, which include delicately carved vessels. The sculptures, decorated with plant and animal patterns, are illuminated and cast shadows of the natural world. Complemented by works that combine video, sound, poetry, and performance elements, the show is designed to speak to attendees on a deeply physical level, evoking a sense of organic integration that they have lost in the fragmented state of our current world.

shinji ohmaki's delicately carved vessels cast shadows of flowers at national art center, tokyo
Gravity and Grace, installation view of the exhibition Shinji Ohmaki: Interface of Being, The National Art Center, Tokyo, 2023 | photo by Keizo Kioku

 

 

Installations Reflecting Ohmaki’s Psychological Exploration

 

The installations by Shinji Ohmanki (find more here) at The National Art Center (find more here) serve as reflections on the historical journey of contemporary society and its current challenges. Deeply influenced by the artist’s psychological exploration, the immersive spaces invite visitors to reevaluate their existence. Whether shrouded in darkness or bathed in intense light, these environments encourage introspection of not just our bodies but also our minds and senses.

 

The exhibition unfolds with the latest installment of Ohmaki’s Gravity and Grace series, initially introduced in 2016. A substantial vessel carved with patterns of diverse plants and animals emanates a powerful light. Gravity and Grace, drawing its name from a compilation of aphorisms by French philosopher Simone Weil, explores the concept that, as beings bound by gravity, embracing the void allows us to receive God’s grace. Ohmaki’s forthcoming work includes the creation of photograms inspired by this ambitious installation, blending light and shadow into a compelling narrative.

shinji ohmaki's delicately carved vessels cast shadows of flowers at national art center, tokyo
Gravity and Grace, installation view of the exhibition Shinji Ohmaki: Interface of Being, The National Art Center, Tokyo, 2023 | photo by Keizo Kioku

 

 

Also on view will be numerous drawings that Ohmaki has produced in the process of creating these overwhelming spaces. The drawings capture the intangible atmosphere of sites, enabling the artist to verify the expanse and motion of space and intersections of light and shadow. The contrast between dynamic installations and delicate drawings is among the exhibition’s highlights.

Deeply intrigued by the human presence within spaces and its intricate connections with others, Ohmaki has recently extended his artistic exploration into the realm of theater. This expansion includes the creation of stage designs for Rain (2023), featured at notable venues such as Aichi Prefectural Art Theater and The New National Theatre, Tokyo, among others. Ohmaki’s installations skillfully utilize interplays of light and darkness, enticing visitors into immersive, stage-like environments that resonate with theatricality at its core. Entering these spaces transcends mere spectatorship; it transforms us into active participants, integral to the immersive worlds Ohmaki crafts. Live performances are scheduled to enhance this dynamic engagement during the exhibition.

 

Building on his recent fascination with language, Ohmaki is set to collaborate with poet Ryoko Sekiguchi. The convergence of Sekiguchi’s poetic expressions with Ohmaki’s visual narratives promises to unlock new layers of depth, adding a compelling dimension to the exhibition.

shinji ohmaki's delicately carved vessels cast shadows of flowers at national art center, tokyo
Gravity and Grace, detail, 2023 | image courtesy of A4 Art Museum

shinji ohmaki's delicately carved vessels cast shadows of flowers at national art center, tokyo
Gravity and Grace, detail, 2023 | image courtesy of A4 Art Museum

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Gravity and Grace, 2023 | image courtesy of A4 Art Museum

shinji ohmaki's delicately carved vessels cast shadows of flowers at national art center, tokyo
Rustle of Existence, 2023 | image courtesy of A4 Art Museum

shinji ohmaki's delicately carved vessels cast shadows of flowers at national art center, tokyo
Liminal Air Time—Space: Vacuum Fluctuation, installation view of the exhibition Shinji Ohmaki: Interface of Being, The National Art Center, Tokyo, 2023 | image by Keizo Kioku

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Liminal Air Time—Space: Vacuum Fluctuation, installation view of the exhibition Shinji Ohmaki: Interface of Being, The National Art Center, Tokyo, 2023 | image by Keizo Kioku

 

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Gravity and Grace, 2018
Gravity and Grace, 2018
Gravity and Grace, 2019
Gravity and Grace, 2019
artist portrait | image by Paul Barbera
artist portrait | image by Paul Barbera

project info: 

 

name: Shinji Ohmaki: Interface of Being
artist: Shinji Ohmaki
location: The National Art Center, Tokyo 
dates: November 1, 2023 – December 25, 2023

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