Onishi Gallery is proud to present a group show entitled Porcelain, Metal and Wood: Contemporary Japanese Masterworks by Tokuda Yasokichi III, Tokuda Yasokichi IV, Mamoru Nakagawa, and Nagai Megumi. Including work by two Living National Treasure artists, Porcelain, Metal and Wood presents four artists who use the techniques and materials of Japanese traditional art to ingeniously realize contemporary tastes and aesthetics. The exhibition coincides with Asia Week New York 2011 (March 18 – 26), which presents the stunning diversity of pan-Asian art at museum exhibitions, galleries, auctions and special programs held throughout New York City.
Tokuda Yasokichi III
Recognized as one of the world’s most famous Kutani potters, Tokuda Yasokichi III (1933-2009) was born in Ishikawa Prefecture, he was designated as a Ningen Kokuho (Living National Treasure) in 1997 for the mastery of his saiyu glaze technique.
Yasokichi III innovatively developed the saiyu technique based on traditional Kutani colored glaze enameling techniques handed down from his grandfather, Tokuda Yasokichi I, and using techniques learned from his father, Tokuda Yasokichi II. With saiyu, Yasokichi III created his own visual world characterized by the delicate shading and beautiful contrast of enamel glaze colors.
Yasokichi III’s work been recognized widely and shown in numerous museums including the British Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Sackler Gallery, and the Smithsonian Institute. His honors include acceptance into the Issui-kai Pottery and Porcelain Exhibition (1958), the Japan Traditional Arts and Craft Society Chairman’s Award (1977), the Grand Prize of the International Pottery and Porcelain Exhibition (1990), and the Purple Ribbon Medal given by the Government of Japan (1993).
Tokuda Yasokichi IV
Born in 1961, Tokuda Yasokichi IV succeeded her father Tokuda Yasokichi III’s position after his death in 2009.
As a female artist succeeding the position in a traditional potter’s family, she is a remarkable figure in Japan and recognized in the international market.
Even while she has inherited the practices of Kutani porcelain techniques and methods, her sensibility as a female artist gives her a singular perspective on tradition that is reflected in her diverse color palette and her unique interpretations of form. Porcelain, Metal and Wood is her debut exhibition outside of Japan.
Born in 1947 in Ishikawa Prefecture, Nakagawa Mamoru is one of the most respected Kaga inlay artists of his time. In 2004, the Japanese government designated him a Ningen Kokuho (Living National Treasure) for his contributions to the preservation of Kaga inlay, an invaluable art form. Nakagawa was the youngest person ever to earn the designation at age 56.
Nakagawa has been a seminal figure in reviving the important craft of metal inlay and has enlivened the traditionally monotone realm of metal casting with a refreshing and unprecedented palette of color. Using kaga inlay, renowned for its angled layers in which inlayed metal designs are embedded in a base metal, Nakagawa draws inspiration from the beauty of natural landscapes and his extensive travels, all of which surface as images in his designs. Nakagawa’s work has been exhibited in the Smithsonian Institute, the British Museum, the Jingu Museum in Ise, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. He is active in the studio today and teaches at the Kanazawa College of Art.
Inextricably linked to the wood on which they are painted, Nagai Megumi’s works express the inner cycles of the human soul. Wood engages and influences her on every level of the artistic process.
Her artwork has included themes of the earthly as well as environments of heaven and hell; her recent work has also evoked the folklore of her native Japan and the legacy of Italian artist Giuseppe Arcimboldo. Born in 1951 in Japan, Nagai combines Western art techniques with ancient Japanese artistic traditions dating from before the Heian period (c. 794 – 1185) to express her rich vision of the world. Nagai received her degree in 1975 from the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music and was chosen in 2008 by NHK Japan Broadcasting Corporation for inclusion in a book featuring select graduates of the university. Her work has been shown in numerous competitions and exhibitions in New York and Tokyo. She lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.
For more information, and to contact us regarding events during Asia Week, please note our coordinates below.