The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Otani Workshop's first solo exhibition in South Korea on view at Perrotin Seoul
Otani Workshop, View of the exhibition “Children Of” August 23 – September 22 © Courtesy of the artist & Perrotin.

SEOUL.- Perrotin Seoul is presenting Otani Workshop’s first solo exhibition in South Korea. The occasion also marks the artist’s first solo show with the gallery.

Established in 2005, Otani Workshop is representative of an exciting new wave of ceramic artists from Japan, blending time-honored Japanese artistic techniques with contemporary aesthetics. While it is true that the word workshop invites an assumption that it is a collective of artists, a factory or even an amateur experiment, Otani Workshop is in fact the name of a single artist: Shigeru Otani.

While a student at Okinawa Prefectural University of Arts, Otani became frustrated by the prospect of indigence as an artist. This lead the artist to take a sabbatical from school and embark on a year-long personal expedition, exploring Japan while sleeping in the bed of a pickup truck. What began as a tour of various museums, temples and shrines of his home country, soon became an introspective journey, questioning his identity as an artist. This experience led to the epiphany that he was, after all, on the right path toward a predestined career as a sculptor.

After returning to school and completing his studies, Otani Workshop’s first solo show was held only four years later (Otani Workshop Tenjikaiten, Gallery KARAHASHI, Shiga, Japan, 2008). He soon attracted the attention of Takashi Murakami, who currently acts as both a mentor and curator for the artist.

Until 2017, for nearly a decade Otani worked out of Shigaraki, Japan – the ancient capital of Japanese pottery famous for locally mined clay – inside The Shigaraki Ceramic Cultural Park, a public facility which allowed the artist access to a shared kiln. Wanting to devote more independent study and time to the development of large-scale works in his own space, the artist first searched the area for a private studio but ultimately ended up purchasing an former ceramic roof tile factory on Awaji Island. Located approximately two hours outside Kobe, Japan, the factory was deserted due to devastation caused from repeated earthquakes, beginning with 1995’s Great Hanshin disaster. As sales of the traditional roof tiles further declined, many of the island’s factories became deserted.

Captivated by the historical ties of the island to ceramics, in this new space Otani began to create a wide range of objects from small clay figures to contorted humanlike ceramic sculptures, often mixing wood, iron, and other materials from Awaji Island into the final piece. The building also came equipped with a large working kiln, allowing Otani Workshop to test the limits of his imagination through sculpture. Full of personality, many of his works maintain the rough texture of the clay – still sourced from Shigaraki - throughout the asymmetrical figures which is indicative of the paradigm shift in Japanese ceramics.

Of note is Otani Workshop’s installation style, which, as a pillar of his practice, elevates the idea of craft to fine art. The artist’s most recent solo exhibition, When I Was Seventeen, I Learned About Giacometti From My Art Teacher and Became Drawn to Sculpture—and So I Make Sculptures Now. (Kaikai Kiki Gallery, Tokyo, 2016), for instance, explored the fluid relationship between ceramics and sculptures with equal parts humor and brutal honesty, inviting the viewer to feel as though they have stepped directly into the physical manifestation of Otani Workshop’s fantasy. Be it a pitcher or a bowel resting in a custom-made cupboard, or a large, fantastical ceramic head seeming growing from a mound of grass, the works are displayed in a way as to question the practicality or decorativeness of each piece. Owing to a profound presence as works of fine art, they showcase the strange reciprocity between traditional and contemporary culture.

Through Otani’s practice, the viewer is presented with narratives vested in the combination of ceramics, sculpture and craft – narratives that, ultimately, lead to new definitions of fine art and, crucially, of ourselves.

A graduate of Okinawa Prefectural University of Arts (2004), Otani was born in Shiga Prefecture in 1980. Otani Workshop has exhibited extensively in Japan, including: An Occasion for Contemplating Ceramics and Sculpture: Seeds Sown in Shigaraki, 2017, Kaikai Kiki Gallery, Tokyo, Japan; When I Was Seventeen, I Learned About Giacometti From My Art Teacher and Became Drawn to Sculpture - and So I Make Sculptures Now., 2016, Kaikai Kiki Gallery, Tokyo, Japan; Otani Workshop, 2015, gallery uchiumi, Tokyo, Japan; Otani Workshop, 2013, Tri Gallery, Tokyo, Japan; Otani Workshop, 2011, Nichi-nichi, Tokyo, Japan; Otani Workshop, 2008, Ginza AKANE art gallery, Tokyo, Japan.

Today's News

September 3, 2018

One of the world's rarest Chinese paintings to lead Christie's sale in Hong Kong

Mural in Spanish town not by Banksy: official website

The Malatier Collection: Old Master paintings, furniture and works of art to be offered at Drouot

Otani Workshop's first solo exhibition in South Korea on view at Perrotin Seoul

In Kenya, rubbish reborn as art

Museum's Murad Megalli Collection of kilims highlights artistic achievements of nomadic women

Neil Armstrong film accused of being unpatriotic

Exhibition scrutinises the linocut according to its versatility and expressivity

Rago announces 'Autobiography of a Hoarder: The Collection of Martin Cohen, Part 1'

"Half the Picture: A Feminist Look at the Collection" opens at the Brooklyn Museum

Finest T206 set ever assembled could crush world records in exclusive Heritage Auctions Sports sale

Private collection of fine Asian decorative arts and furniture will headline auction

Artpace announces Riley Robinson to assume leadership as Director

Dutch photographer Saskia Boelsums exhibits 'Landscapes' for the first time at Eduard Planting Gallery

Heritage Auctions adds sports collectibles specialist Chris Nerat to Chicago office

Mash Gallery and Haleh Mashian announce the opening of a new gallery

Gallery 30 South announces Lydia Breckenbridge: African American Punk Rock Quilts

Significant Irish design and craft presence at cultural exhibition Homo Faber, Venice

Future secured for Art Gallery of South Australia's dynamic teen program

Sun Museum in Hong Kong exhibits 56 sketch works by fourteen local artists

Artist Erika Lizée creates large-scale installation in Pierce College solo show

21c Museum Hotels commissions ten artists to design billboards across the country

Currier Museum transformed with immersive drawing installation inspired by Manchester

Most Popular Last Seven Days

1.- Apple releases Spring 2019 iPhone cases and watch bands with 'Delft Blue' color in the lead

2.- Star Trek: Year Five #1 original cover art by Greg Hildebrandt Surfaces at Heritage Auctions

3.- Guitars of the greats rock halls of New York's Met museum

4.- Historic jewels and exceptional gemstones highlight Christie's Geneva Magnificent Jewels Auction

5.- French museum renames masterpieces after black subjects

6.- Heathrow Terminal 5 exhibits skeleton of new species of dinosaur

7.- Missing Rubens sketch goes for $1.4 mn at auction

8.- The Museo del Prado opens 'Giacometti in the Museo del Prado'

9.- Inrap archaeologists discover an Etruscan tomb in a hypogeum in Aleria

10.- Picasso in Ivory Coast? A village tells of its brush with the artist

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher:Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful