Yasuaki Onishi: empty sculpture

2014.11.8[sat] – 11.29[sat] 11:00 - 19:00 (Saturdays 11:00 - 17:00) Closed on Sundays, Mondays, National holidays

ARTCOURT Gallery will present “The Sakuya-Konohana Collection - Yasuaki Onishi: empty sculpture” as a commemorative exhibition for Onishi’s reception of the 31st Sakuya-Konohana Award.

Sculpting empty space — Yasuaki Onishi creates sculpture that visualizes “negative” space typically referred as blank margin or hollow space with no interior by assigning uncomplicated themes such as volume, verticality and distance. He is a promising artist who traces forms that exist between articial and nature with delicate senses by using materials with their shapes difcult to dene, e.g., adhesive and polyethylene lm. He has held number of exhibitions in Japan as well as overseas and has taken many residency programs. His installation works, which imply the domain beyond human understanding such as magnicent mountains, glacier caves, windy open sea with waves and silhouette of nebula, are particularly acclaimed highly.

— To create ‘space that does not exist’ where one can spread his imagination that there might have been something there before or something may get into — I present my work as a place where viewers think and feel the space consciously, experience the phenomenon that is paradoxical and can be taken in either way depending on how one sees it like negative and positive, front and back, or interior and exterior, and expand imagination of their own. (Yasuaki Onishi)

Cylindrical balloons with timer-controlled small fans inside that inate vertically … the polyethylene lm realized an organic movement and gave viewers the feelings of “seeing emptiness to obtain inane”. The 2009 work Untitled (pictured lower right) is an important piece, in which Onishi himself discovered ‘volume’ in air or empty space and this piece eventually lead Onishi to create his later masterpiece reverse of volume. Onishi speaks of his plate-like piece called exchange of surface, in which he melted the surface painted with adhesive by using a glue gun as if it was a pencil and mixed with powdered metal,
as “the trace of accumulated act and reaction.” Onishi gives ambiguous contour to space with his way of expression that is to approach space by selecting raw materials that reveal the invisible and using act, phenomenon and time as his building blocks. His creation occupies space, which is lled with oating soft gradation of light and shadow, and it becomes like an aesthetic vessel to store the thoughts and Immeasurable imagination of its viewers.

In this exhibition, we will present several examples of Onishi’s ‘empty sculpture’ including the early piece Gawa, Untitled, exchange of surface, and new work attempting to create exterior by making an interior space that has no physical volume using light and gravity.

※About Osaka City’s “Sakuya-Konohana Award” and “The Sakuya-Konohana Collection”

“Sakuya-Konohana Award” is given by the city of Osaka to young artists who are expected to carry on the future of Osaka culture since 1983. There are ve categories: Art, Music,
Performance Art & Dance, Popular Play, Others, and have been awarded to over 150 individuals/groups. The recipients are involved in cultural activities not only in Japan but overseas.
The City of Osaka presents “The Sakuya-Konohana Collection” a few times a year to give opportunities to experience the charm of “Sakuya-Konohana Award” recipients who are important human assets of Osaka.

Related events

  • 2014.11.8[sat] 2:30 PM - 4:00 PM
    Talk with Tadashi Kanai*, Yasuaki Onishi
    *Associate Professor, School of Humanities, Shinshu University
  • 2014.11.8[sat] 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Organized by

  • Organized by Sakuya-Konohana Award Recipients Supporting Committee (Committee members include: The City of Osaka, Osaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Osaka Government Tourism Bureau, Suntory Publicity Service Group, Management Company to Osaka City Central Public Hall)
  • ARTCOURT Gallery (Yagi Art Management)


Yasuaki Onishi