Yasuaki Onishi

December, 2013

What is most enthralling about Yasuaki Onishi’s work must be his use of rudimentary materials to make up his intricate yet monumental mountain-like structures that appear to float in space. Onishi uses plastic sheeting and black hot glue in a process he calls “casting the invisible” which involves draping the plastic sheeting over stacked cardboard boxes, which are then removed to leave only their impressions. This process of “reversing” sculpture is Onishi’s meditation on the nature of the negative space, or void, left behind. It appears to be a suspended, glowing mass whose exact depth is difficult to perceive. Onishi wanted to create an installation that would absorb the industrial feel of The Mine’s first floor space, a first for this series as previous installations had been constructed on very high ceilings so as to allow the viewers to pass under the sheet. This one however is his very first installation adapted for The Mine’s low upper floor ceiling. The use of the first floor was a calculated decision by the artist which replicates, as the visitors climb the stairs, the final steps to a mountain summit giving way to the spectacular view that is the installation. The semi translucent plastic sheeting and wispy strands of hot glue envelop the viewer in a fragile, tent like enclosure speckled with inky black marks. Visitors can walk around the contemplative space, observing how the simplest qualities of light, shape, and line come together perfectly and give life to the piece. 

Yasuaki Onishi was born in 1979 in Osaka, Japan, where he continues to live and work. He studied sculpture at the University of Tsukuba and Kyoto City University of Arts in Japan. He has had solo exhibitions throughout Japan, and his work was included in Ways of Worldmaking (2011), at the National Museum of Art, Osaka (NMAO). He has had many solo exhibitions around the world including France, China, Russia, Italy, Sweden and the United States.

Yasuaki Onishi

b. 1979  Osaka, Japan

Education and Selected Awards

1997-2001 B.A. Sculpture Course, School of Art & Design, University of Tsukuba - Japan |2002-2004 M.A. Sculpture Course, Graduate School of Art, Kyoto City University of Arts – Japan | 2015 Art at the Heart winner, Shire of East Pilbara, Australia | 2010 The Pollock-Krasner Foundation |2010 U.S. Japan Award Fellowship, Vermont Studio Center |2009 IASK Asia Pacific Artists Fellowship National Museum of Contemporary Art Korea | 2004 Net Exhibition, Digital Photo Contest, Fine art section, Excellent prize

Selected solo exhibitions

2017 vertical emptiness / Kulanshi Art Space, Astana | Japan

2016 vertical volume / The Mine Gallery| Dubai UAE

2015 contour of gravity/ Gallery Out of Place, Tokyo | Japan

2013 reverse Volume MI / The Mine, Dubai | UAE

2012 inner space/The Wilfrid Israel Museum of Asian Art and Studies, Hazorea | Israel

2011 reverse of volume/Aichi Prefectural Museum, Nagoya | Japan

2010 reverse of volume/Vermont Studio Center Red Mill Gallery, Johnson | USA

2010 horizontal forest/Not Quite Gallery, Fengersfors | Sweden

2010 ridge of boundary/para_SITE Gallery, Graz | Austria

2008 mountair/KONGSI, Enschede | Netherlands

2007 space between face and reverse/Pantaloon, Osaka | Japan

2006 visible/Sfera Exhibition, Kyoto | Japan

2005 breath nebula/Inax Gallery 2, Tokyo | Japan

2003 thing of darkness/Gallery b.Tokyo, Tokyo | Japan

Selected group exhibitions

2017 Code Art Fair - The Mine, Copenhagen | Denmark

2016 Recyclart – Working Title Festival, Brussels | Belgium

2016 Islamic Art Festival / Sharjah Art Museum, Sharjah | UAE

2015 Biela Noc / Kulturpark Alfa Gallery, Košice | Slovakia

2015 Seeing Time - Time Traveler /  Kala Gallery, Berkeley| USA

2013 Mono No Aware. Japanese Contemporary Art/The State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg | Russia

2012 agora -Miniartextil Como/Villa Olmo, Como | Italy

2011 Japan Media Arts Festival/Hartware MedienKunst Verein Dortmunder U, Dordmund | Germany

2010 Art Court Frontier #8/ART COURT GALLERY, Osaka | Japan2010 The Transforming State/Religare Arts Initiative, Delhi | India

2009 phantasmagoria/Ieyoung Contemporary Art Museum, Suwon | Korea

2006 Remove a sign. piano,piano/Osaka Port Red Brick Warehouse, Osaka | Japan

2003 7th.GUNMA BIENNALE FOR YOUNG ARTIST 2003/The Museum of Modern Art, Takasaki | Japan


Selected Residencies

2015 The Art at the Heart Residency Program / Newman | Australia

2010 Not Quite Guest Artist / Fengersfors | Sweden

2009 Kala Art Institute Fellowship / Berkley | USA

2008 Kunstenaarsinitiatief B93 / Enschede | Netherlands