Distance between presence and absence 2020

The semi-transparent cylindrical bag continues to move slowly and vertically between the tableware placed on the ground and the foods suspended from the ceiling, while replacing the air inside. As the bag swells, it swallows the collection of seeds of rice and soybeans in the transparent tube at the top of the bag while filling the volume of the room. The bag then wilts and moves away from it and approaches the floor, gradually revealing the contours of the tableware through the double membrane. They each move in a regular cycle in various parts of the exhibition room.
The events and relationships that occur in these works suggest the state of this world and society in which we live. And I present my work as an opportunity to look at those from a different standpoint while working on our perceptions.
Starting with things that are familiar or things that are ungraspable, I am interested in the leap that my mind makes into a system that is beyond our reach.

Reverse of volume RG 2012

A major work of Onishi’s “sculpting of emptiness” that deviates from preexisting sculptural expression while also examining its essence. Polyethylene sheeting is spread over a pile of cardboard boxes, imparting to the space an outline of vague forms resembling mountain ridges. Heated glue is dripped directly over it from a glue gun, creating a large number of vertical lines that fill the upper part of the space, after which the cardboard boxes are removed to complete the piece. On entering the empty interior, the viewer is bathed in soft light variations and shadows created by the floating sheet and experiences the new sensibility of “seeing a sculpture from its reverse side”.

Vertical emptiness KAC 2013

Trees hung upside-down from the ceiling, with glue dripped from the branches down to the floor, and urea applied to the surface layers and crystallized. An attempt at connecting the openings (emptiness) between an upside-down world and our own with vertical lines, and filling the space with the uncontrollable element of crystallization.

Note: The text above was written by the Artist. No modification was made by COCA.

Yasuaki Onishi



2001 B.A. Sculpture, School of Art & Design, University of Tsukuba | Japan
2004 M.A. Sculpture, Graduate School of Art, Kyoto City University of Arts | Japan
Solo exhibitions
2019 Permeating Landscape / Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art, Las Vegas | USA
2018 Hidden Landscapes / COCONINO Center for the Arts, Flagstaff | USA
reverse of volume / Galerie Virginie Louvet, Paris | France
2014 empty sculpture / ARTCOURT Gallery, Osaka | Japan
2012 reverse of volume / Rice Gallery, Houston | USA
2011 reverse of volume / Aichi Prefectural Museum, Nagoya | Japan
Group exhibitions
2021 WAVELENGTH: AT THE MOMENT / Beijing Times Art Museum | China
2020 Takamatsu Contemporary Art annual vol.09 / Takamatsu Art Museum, Takamatsu | Japan
2019 Negative Space / ZKM, Karlsruhe | Germany
2018 THE MOON / Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebaek | Denmark
2016 SURFACING EARTH / Röda Sten Konsthall, Gothenburg | Sweden
2015 RELIEF(S) / Frac Centre, Orleans | France

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