Shinji Ohmaki has come to notice with his textile series Liminal Air. It was exhibited in 2014 at the Taro Okamoto Award Exhibition II held at Taro Okamoto Museum of Art, and at the exhibition Simple Forms: Contemplating Beauty at the Mori Art Museum in 2015. Since last year, Ohmaki has collaborated with two world-famous fashion brands. At the Aichi Triennal 2016, he exhibited large-scale spatial installations in three different halls, each exploiting the available space in a unique way. Ohmaki is currently regarded as one of Japan’s most interesting practitioners of spatial art.
In recent years, Ohmaki has taken ‘life and death’ as his main theme. He expresses the ephemeral destiny of what vanishes, and the beauty of passing. His installation at the Aichi Triennale was a culmination. Now, at Art Front Gallery, he will show his first steps in new experimental work seeking to further develop his worldview. Five two-dimensional pieces on the theme of the visualisation of time, not previously shown in Japan before, will be included. We hope you will enjoy Ohmaki’s latest work, with their varying expressions and techniques.
Shinji Ohmaki was born 1971 in Gifu Prefecture. He had his grounding in sculpture at Tokyo University of the Arts, where he now teaches. As an up-and-coming artist he also creates and exhibits worldwide. Series such as Echoes, Liminal Air, Memorial Rebirth are central to his artistic persona. In them, he deals with themes like ‘material’, ‘space’ and ‘existence’, upsetting our preconceived notions of sculpture by using airy, delicate and unstable forms. Sculpture tends to be thought of as volumetric and material. Ohmaki’s creations are the opposite. He uses existentially pale and transitional substances, such as particles of fine pigments or thin textile, which risk flying away, or soap bubbles which vanish at the slightest touch. He develops such items into dynamic spatial entities, based on meticulous calculation. It might also be said that he creates a space for prayer, guiding people towards psychological tranquillity, altering viewers’ bodily perceptions. In this way Ohmaki transforms ordinary space into something extraordinary.
In conjunction with this solo exhibition, Art Front Gallery will publish the first full-scale monograph on Ohmaki, covering the wide range of his works so far. (Gendai Kikakushitu; 3800 yen). The book is a collaboration between Japanese and foreign curators and has abundant visual information to interpret how Ohmaki has evolved his themes in ever-changing techniques, across his many artwork series.
Ohmaki has participated in most major art festivals, including the Yokohama Triennale (2008), Setouchi Triennale (2010), Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennale (2015), and Aichi Triennale (2016). He has received invitations from Korea, Taiwan and Singapore, and has expanded his activity internationally. In 2018, Ohmaki’s work will be exhibited together with other world-class artists, such as Marina Abramovic and Cai Guo-Qiang, at a European urban cultural event in the Netherlands. Any exciting future awaits him.