Asia Week 2022 | Onishi Gallery

Chelsea Gallery Announces Pioneering Exhibition of Contemporary Japanese Metal Art







Location: Onishi Gallery, 521 West 26th Street, New York, NY 10001

Exhibition Dates: March 16–23, 2022

Opening Party: Thursday March 17, 5pm–8pm

Hours: 10am–5pm Daily (otherwise by appointment)


In celebration of Asia Week New York 2022, Onishi Gallery (521 W. 26th Street) is proud to announce its next exhibition “The Eternal Beauty of Metal,” opening on March 16.


Onishi Gallery regularly features the best of contemporary Japanese metal art and represents many leading figures in the field, including nine artists designated “Living National Treasures.” The exhibition’s title, The Eternal Beauty of Metal, reflects the philosophy of Ōsumi Yukie—Japan’s first female Living National Treasure in metal art—who has written that there is “ … something particularly meaningful about the way that metals can substitute the permanent for the fleeting and transitory, conferring eternity on phenomena that would otherwise have a limited lifespan.”

Featuring vessels made from gold, silver, platinum, copper, lead, and unique Japanese alloys, worked in techniques including casting, chiseling, hammering, and overlay, “The Eternal Beauty of Metal” will show that the makers of these contemporary masterpieces are distinct in their personal modes of expression, but united in their embrace of traditional methods.


Other works by all the artists featured in The Eternal Beauty of Metal can be seen at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in Japan: A History of Style, a year-long exhibition currently on view through April 22, 2022. The works were selected by Monika Bincsik, Diane and Arthur Abbey Associate Curator for Japanese Decorative Arts, and generously gifted to The Met by Tokyo-based entrepreneur Hayashi Kaoru, Founder and Group CEO of Digital Garage, Inc., in honor of the Museum’s 150th anniversary.


We are extremely grateful to Hayashi Kaoru for this generous gift, which considerably enriches and expands the Museum's world-class holdings of Japanese art … a perfect introduction to contemporary Japanese metal art, bringing together tradition and modernity through the exquisite works of eighteen leading artists” said Max Hollein, Marina Kellen French Director of The Met.


Hayashi comments: “I’ve noticed that overseas audiences who focus purely on international contemporary art can find it hard to appreciate the finer points of modern Japanese crafts with their roots in traditional practice. I’m also aware that in the West, especially the United States, it’s taken for granted that public museums are sustained as much by private generosity as they are by the taxpayer, but Japanese philanthropists aren’t yet fully on board with this funding model. As a Japanese collector, it’s my duty to foster a wider understanding of my country’s culture at the same time as encouraging private generosity toward the museum sector, especially in these very challenging times.”


The Japanese artists featured in both exhibitions will be “Living National Treasures” Katsura Morihito, Nakagawa Mamoru, Okuyama Hōseki, Ōsumi Yukie, Ōzawa Kōmin, Taguchi Toshichika, Tamagawa Norio, Uozumi Iraku III, and Yamamoto Akira, along with nine other leading artists: Hannya Tamotsu, Hata Shunsai III, Iede Takahiro, Iino Ichirō, Miyata Ryōhei, Oshiyama Motoko, Ōtsuki Masako, Sako Ryūkei, and Tanaka Terukazu. (All names appear in Japanese order, with family name first.)


In addition, Bonhams sale of Japanese and Korean Art, to be held on March 23, will feature pieces of metalwork by ten of the artists listed above (Bonhams, 580 Madison Avenue;


For more information, please contact Owner, Nana Onishi:

T: 212-695-8035


March 16, 2022