Toshio Ohi, who exhibited at the Onishi Gallery in autumn 2007, inherits an artistic tradition that dates from 1666. That was when the first Ohi ware potter began crafting ceramic works for the tea ceremony near Kanazawa. Toshio is the 11th generation in the Ohi lineage. He deploys the characteristically lustrous effects of Ohi ware in bowls and other items for the tea ceremony and in a vast range of other works, both utilitarian and purely artistic.
A native of Kanazawa, Ohi earned a master’s degree in fine arts from Boston University. He has taught and lectured at universities in the United States and Taiwan, as well as in Japan.
Toshio Ohi’s ceramics bridge the past and the present with particular grace. His simple forms have a strong presence. His variety of shapes are informed by his knowledge of the history of his medium and the work of his family, of which he now represents the 11th generation or potters. The artist makes tea bowls that are quiet and poetic, their glazes reflecting the hand of the artist but also the effects of the fire. He has also made a large number of ceremonial vessels that take the form of generous flaring bowls that evoke a fully opened blossom, ovoids that have the rich coloration of a perfect piece of fruit, and covered vessels with extended “wings” that reach into space like a bird.
The evocations of nature in Toshio Ohi’s forms are echoed in the artist’s superb glazes. Deep and lustrous browns and black are of the rich hues of the earth itself. His pale white glazes suggest the delicacy of snow and ice as spring begins to permeate the cold. Certain of his covered vessels are suggestive of naturally split rocks, with bold sharp ridges that surround and support a smooth lid that looks like water caught in the rock. Green glazes are mottled with rich reds and browns that emphasize the organic quality of his forms.
Toshio Ohi is an artist who asks the viewer to stop quietly, look carefully, and be reminded of the gentle nature that gives peace and tranquility.
- Born in Kanazawa, Japan
- Studied under father, Chozaemon X
- Graduated from Tamagawa University, Tokyo and begins graduate study at Boston University, where he earns Master of Fine Arts degree in 1984
- Served as artist in residence at Boston University
- Served as visiting associate professor at Rochester Institute of Technology
- Served as instructor at Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music
- Served as visiting associate professor at Tainan National College of the Arts;
Continues to produce Ohi ware and to engage in wide-ranging artistic endeavors
- Japanese Contemporary Craft, Onishi Gallery, New York
- SOFA New York
- Onishi Gallery, New York
- Tsinghua University, Beijing
- Public and Culture Hall, Japan Embassy, Seoul
- Kumho Museum, Seoul
- Sierkunst Museum, Ghent
- City Hall, Boston
Museum Collections (partial listing)
Academy of Art, Honolulu / Ariana Museum, Geneva / County Museum of Art, Los Angeles / Fine Arts Museum, Taipei / Sierkunst Museum, Ghent