Virtual Tea Ceremony

8 June - 14 August 2020

Onishi Gallery invites you to join our artists in a Virtual Tea Ceremony - a celebration of art and culture, tradition and contemporary influence, and unity during these trying times. The Japanese Tea Ceremony, steeped in a rich history, is an art of harmony and respect. We are proud to share the way in which Japanese culture and tradition surrounding tea has informed the work of our artists, and are delighted to continue the multicultural dialogue on which our gallery was founded. 

We are honored to bring the Tea Ceremony to your home through the works of our esteemed artists: Hata Shunsai III (b. 1976), Sako Ryuhei (b. 1976), and Iede Takahiro (b. 1962) working in metal; Ohi Chozaemon X and Ohi Toshio Chozaemon XI (b. 1958), father and son, working in ceramics; and Noda Akiko (b. 1975), working in glass. Hata Shunsai III, a metal artist from the renowned Toyama prefecture, continues his family’s legacy through the making of teakettles, a craft learned from his father. He expands upon tradition, innovating his works with contemporary design elements unique to the artist, exploring the theme of water through his tetsubin cast-iron kettles and the more formal chagama. Sako Ryuhei, a member of the Nihon KĊgeikai, creates pieces using mokume-gane, a Japanese metal technique directly translated as “wood-grain metal” dating back to the 17th century. Bonding together paper-thin layers of differently-colored alloyed metal sheets, Sako Ryuhei creates exceptional contemporary pieces, his artwork earning a place in the permanent public collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum. Iede Takahiro, one of Japan’s most celebrated contemporary metal artists, takes inspiration from traditional Japanese bamboo basketry, the artist innovating a masterful metal-weaving technique, which has earned him the Medal of the Purple Ribbon for Artistic Achievement from the Japanese government. Pieces by the three metalwork artists will become part of the permanent collection at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2020, displayed in celebration of the Museum’s 150-year history, and featured in an exhibition on Japanese Metalwork coordinated between Onishi Gallery and the Museum. Ohi Chozaemon X and Ohi Toshio Chozaemon XI celebrate and innovate the Tea Ceremony through the family’s extraordinary artistry in ceramics, passed down from generation to generation. After the title passed from father to son, Ohi Toshio Chozaemon XI became the 11th generation head of an important lineage of potters, specializing in tea ceramics since 1666. His sharp forms and nuanced colors have earned international acclaim and his work has been included in the collections of a number of major museums such as Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Detroit Institute of Arts, Everson Museum of Art, Syracuse, Musée Ariana, Geneva, Switzerland, and the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, Japan. Finally, Noda Akiko, a contemporary sculptor and poet from Kyoto awarded the Grand Prize at the 52nd Japan Contemporary Arts and Crafts Exhibition in 2013, is featured for her extraordinary artistic creation in glass, sharing with us the Japanese tradition of respect for the moon. Her celestial theme introduces an innovative and romantic dynamic to the virtual tearoom, and we are honored to be sharing her work.