• Press Release

    Onishi Gallery is proud to proud to feature the best of Japanese metalwork and represents many of its leading contemporary practitioners, including nine who have been designated Living National Treasures. Our September exhibition, “Heated Colors, Hammered Forms: Female Metal Artists of Japan,” turns the spotlight on the contribution made by women to the revival of this demanding art form, highlighting four female artists who are distinct in their personal modes of expression, but united in their embrace and adaptation of traditional methods.

     

    Oshiyama Motoko creates swirling, agitated surfaces by welding together two or more different metals such as silver or shakudō, Japan’s unique blue-black alloy of copper and gold. Otsuki Masako chisels fine angled lines that give her work an eye-catching three-dimensional look, rich in depth and shadow. Hagino Noriko forges and welds her metals in a process that takes almost six months for each piece, exploiting their natural hues to form fluid patterns. Living National Treasure Osumi Yukie shapes her vessel forms through an arduous hammering process, then beats metal leaf into a fine grid incised into their surfaces to fashion designs evocative of wind, waves, and clouds.

     

    As Osumi has written, “metals can substitute the permanent for the fleeting and transitory, conferring eternity on phenomena that would otherwise have a limited lifespan.” We hope that visitors to this exhibition will appreciate the passion, care, and creativity that each of our four artists has devoted to this transformative process.

     

    LIST ON ARTSY

  • Osumi Yukie (b. 1945), Living National Treasure (2015)

    Osumi Yukie (b. 1945)

    Living National Treasure (2015)

    Osumi Yukie (b. 1945), was designated a Living National Treasure in 2015, and is the first female artist to receive this honor in her field. She specializes in tankin, or hammered vessels and applies the traditional technique of nunomezōgan to the decorative and functional pieces that she creates. This process involves hammering metal-leaf or wire into a fine, mesh-like grid incised into the surface of the metal. Through her designs of wind, waves, clouds and streams, Osumi creates a formless and flowing affinity with nature.She graduated in 1969 from the Faculty of Fine Arts, Tokyo University of the Arts and afterwards studied under Kashima Ikkoku (1898-1996), Sekiya Shiro (1907-1994) and Katsura Moriyuki (1914-1996).  For one year, she trained as an artist in the United Kingdom under a sponsorship by Japan’s Agency for Cultural Affairs.  Osumi was most recently awarded a residency at The Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, the Smithsonian Museum of Asian Art in 2015.

  • OSUMI YUKIE'S WORKING PROCESSES

     

     
     
  • Copyright National Museum of Asian Art in Washington, D.C
    • Ōsumi Yukie, Silver Vase Bakufu (Waterfall), 2011
      Ōsumi Yukie, Silver Vase Bakufu (Waterfall), 2011
    • Osumi Yukie, Silver Incense Box “Moon Rabbit", 2020
      Osumi Yukie, Silver Incense Box “Moon Rabbit", 2020
  • Otsuki Masako (b. 1943)

    Otsuki Masako (b. 1943)

    Influenced by her studies at Tama University’s Department of Design, Ōtsuki Masako (b. 1943), incorporates many aspects of design into her metalwork pieces. She has stated that in artwork, highly developed techniques should meet refined designs to appeal to audiences. 

  • Otsuki Masako , Silver Vase 'Yo' (Leap), 1998

    Otsuki Masako

    Silver Vase "Yo" (Leap), 1998

    She applies the hatsuri shave and carve technique, carving distinctive and fine-angled lines into base metals using chisels. This technique gives the work a unique three-dimensional effect with depth and shadow.

     

    Despite the varying degrees of solubility, Ōtsuki expertly manipulates the gold, silver, copper and copper-silver alloy, lending metal—a cold medium,

    a feeling of warmth and life.

    • Otsuki Masako , Silver Vase "Ryo" (Blast), 1996
      Otsuki Masako , Silver Vase "Ryo" (Blast), 1996
    • Otsuki Masako , Silver Vase “Yu” (Spring Up), 1991
      Otsuki Masako , Silver Vase “Yu” (Spring Up), 1991
    • Otsuki Masako , Silver Vase “Yu” (Play), 1997
      Otsuki Masako , Silver Vase “Yu” (Play), 1997
  • Oshiyama Motoko (b. 1958)

    Oshiyama Motoko (b. 1958)

    Oshiyama Motoko (b. 1958),  is a masterful female artist who is inspired by nature and natural phenomena. Fascinated by the challenges and beauty of metalworking, she seeks to seamlessly incorporate her medium’s idiosyncrasies into her work instead of using force. 

     

    Oshiyama studied metal carving, chasing, and hammering techniques at the Bunka Gakuen University in Tokyo, where she graduated in 1981. Following graduation, she studied further with Katsura Moriyuki (1914–1996) and the Living National Treasure, Okuyama Hōseki (b. 1935). Oshiyama currently teaches metalwork and jewelry making at her alma mater.

  • Oshiyama Motoko, Kakuhanmon Vase “Yunagi” (Evening Calm), ca. , 2021

    Oshiyama Motoko

    Kakuhanmon Vase “Yunagi” (Evening Calm), ca. , 2021

    She creates swirling patterns through her technique of welding together two or more metals such as silver and shakudō (a mixture of gold and copper). Oshiyama gives distinction to her works with her modern sense of design, focusing on geometric and abstract patterns. 

     

  • Oshiyama Motoko, Kakuhanmon Vase “Shunen” (Spring Festival), ca., 2022

    Oshiyama Motoko

    Kakuhanmon Vase “Shunen” (Spring Festival), ca., 2022

    The results are works that straddle the separation between “art” and “craft,” aiming to create objects that aesthetically enrich our environments and lives.

  • Hagino Noriko (b. 1949)

    Hagino Noriko (b. 1949)

    Hagino Noriko (b. 1949)works with a technique called hagiawase, metal forging and heat welding, which she learned from Living National Treasure Sekiya Shirō (1907-1994). From the inception of her design to the arduous process of hammering metal, Hagino takes almost six months to complete each project. Intrigued by Sekiya’s works, Hagino became an apprentice in Sekiya’s studio upon graduating from Musashino Art Junior College. 

     

  • Hagino Noriko, Uchidashi Silver Water Jar 03, 2022

    Hagino Noriko

    Uchidashi Silver Water Jar 03, 2022

    She uses the natural hues of the metals as colors to create fluid patterns on her work, silver becoming white, copper becoming red, and an alloy of a mix of gold and copper becoming gold.

    • Hagino Noriko, Uchidashi Silver Water Jar 01, 2017
      Hagino Noriko, Uchidashi Silver Water Jar 01, 2017
    • Hagino Noriko, Uchidashi Silver Water Jar 02, 2021
      Hagino Noriko, Uchidashi Silver Water Jar 02, 2021