In celebration of Asia Week New York 2017 and its 11-year anniversary as a leader of Japanese arts in the international art market of New York City, Onishi Gallery is proud to present a unique new exhibition to Western audiences, “Japanese Art and Modern Living.” Returning to the Dalva Brothers gallery this year for this landmark show, Onishi Gallery demonstrates how contemporary Japanese kōgei arts can be incorporated into the classic 19th century European decorative arts and interior designs that Dalva Brothers displays. “Kōgei” refers to a class of artistic creations produced with advanced skill and refined aesthetics. Japanese artists develop kōgei in close association with the needs and conditions of everyday life in cities and prefectures throughout Japan, drawing upon local aesthetics and regional materials to reflect diverse social, cultural, and physical environments. The juxtaposition of these Japanese arts and a European-designed space highlights the beauty of merging Eastern and Western arts, cultures, and lifestyles. Visitors will step into a modern international setting decorated with Japanese art objects that illuminate the material histories of other cultures. They will have a special opportunity to immerse themselves, visually and physically, in spaces of cross-cultural imagination.
Impressively, this year’s exhibition features 27 artists who fall into two categories based on their creative media, ceramics or metalwork. Within this talented group, 10 of the artists have been designated “Living National Treasures” by the government of Japan for their contributions to the preservation and transmission of traditional Japanese artistic heritage. These artists include the esteemed Imaizumi Imaemon XIV, Isezaki Jun, Ito Sekisui V, Maeta Akihiro, Nakajima Hiroshi, Tokuda Yasokichi III, Yoshita Minori, Nakagawa Mamoru, Osumi Yukie, and Tamagawa Norio. Additionally, four of the 10 featured metalwork artists are female, offering innovative designs characterized by organic, curved techniques that expand the reach of traditional Japanese creative expression. These 27 artists introduce rare reinterpretations of Japanese traditional arts to the international art world, uniquely presented here in the context of Western interior design to bridge history with contemporary circumstance, function with fine aesthetics, creativity with custom, and Eastern with Western tradition.