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Onishi Gallery

Color of Blue in KOGEI

June 11 – July 31, 2024

We are pleased to announce a new installation for the Summer, Color of Blue in KOGEI.

Bringing colors in Kogei has been an exciting theme for Kogei artists as the materials they use are from nature and are already gifted with a variety of colors from the Earth. Invention plays a key role for some artists who strive to incorporate color in new ways while maintaining their works’ traditional values. Included in this exhibition are two porcelain pieces in vivid blue by Tokuda Yasokichi III who was a Living National Treasure and the most well-known Kutani ware artist of his time. In these pieces the suffusion of colors is achieved by his inventive coloration of vivid Kutani color glaze. In another piece where a famed Kogei artist works with blue, the almost transparent and greenish blue on his signature Hakuji porcelain represents a signal departure for Inoue Manji. Manji’s introduction of colors in his work wasn’t until later in his career, after having spent decades working in stark white. Another attractive blue color is by Suzuki Miki in his famous Blue Bizen ware. Unlike traditional Bizen in brown, Suzuki creates a new impression in this traditional stoneware by shifting to blue.

To learn more about the exhibition, click here.



KOGEI and Art

Inoue Manji / David Stanley Hewett

March 14 – May 24, 2024
Asia Week Hours: Mar 14-16 & 18-22, 10am-5pm (otherwise by appointment)
Opening Receptions: Thursday, March 14, 5-8pm

In celebration of Asia Week New York 2024, we are pleased to be presenting two exhibitions – KOGEI and Art, marking the inauguration of KOGEI USA, a non-profit dedicated to the revitalization of Japan’s world-famous KOGEI (art crafts) and Inoue Manji / David Stanley Hewett celebrating Living National Treasure Inoue Manji and Japan based artist David Stanley Hewett. 

Originally coined to translate the word “craft,” today the term KOGEI has a higher significance, denoting works that, even at their most innovative, use materials and methods that have stood the test of time and reflect an unrivalled dedication to technical perfection and refinement, from generation to generation over many centuries. Works in this exhibition include those in ceramics, metal, and lacquer by both well-established artists and newcomers to the field. Alongside masterpieces by “Living National Treasures” such as Imaizumi Imaemon XIV, Nakagawa Mamoru, Ōsumi Yukie, and Murose Kazumi, the exhibition includes recent work by Rusu Aki and Konno Tomoko, two younger women who are building international reputations with sculptural pieces that combine technical rigor with an inventive approach to materials and processes.

In Inoue Manji / David Stanley Hewett, the two artists’ practices convey contrasting aspects of Japanese visual expression. Inoue Manji—a “Living National Treasure” and the embodiment of his country’s dedication to traditional philosophies, materials, and techniques—uses the purity of hakuji (white porcelain) to create works that offer a new perspective on Japanese minimalism, while David Stanley Hewett, an American living in Japan, works in the medium of finest Japanese gold leaf applied to canvas or wood, preserving and re-imagining a heritage of gorgeous decoration with its roots in elite samurai culture.

These two exhibitions mark the inauguration of KOGEI USA, a nonprofit dedicated to revitalizing Japan’s world-famous KOGEI (art crafts) under the banner Securing Our Heritage, Nurturing Our Traditions, Building Our Futures. The exhibitions promotes one of KOGEI USA’s key goals: the formation of new creative links between Japanese and non-Japanese masters who share a passion for preserving and handing on the best traditional hand-made arts.

To learn more, click here.


KOGEI: Japanese Design and Craft with Daniella Ohad, Ph.D

Thursday, May 16, 2024
Closing Reception: 6-8pm
Gallery Talk: 6:30-7pm

We are pleased to celebrate the official launch of KOGEI USA, an American nonprofit organization raising awareness of Japanese traditional arts outside Japan, at our Chelsea gallery.  At this reception, we will welcome Daniella Ohad PhD, Design Historian and Connoisseur, to give a talk on the subject of KOGEI: Japanese Design and Craft.



Since its opening in 2005, Onishi Gallery has featured contemporary Japanese artists who work in a range of media, including ceramics, metalwork, lacquer, glass, sculpture and painting. These artists are united in their common embrace of tradition in the creative process, and they are distinct in their exquisite and diverse modes of expression. Onishi Gallery merges the past with the present through the presentation of historically rich explorations of traditional art forms and ambitions experimentations in new formats in the center of the international contemporary art scene in Chelsea, New York City.

The Japanese Government has designated several artists that Onishi Gallery represents as Preservers of Important Intangible Cultural Properties, more commonly known as “Living National Treasures.” The Minister of Culture considers locality, tradition and the perpetuation of historic techniques when awarding this title to artists. Once an artist is recognized as a Living National Treasure, their profile publicized on a national and global level, dramatically increasing the value of their work. Many of these artists have works that are included in the permanent collections of major museums, such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the British Museum, the Smithsonian Institution, and the Worcester Museum of Art. The system aims to not only celebrate and preserve the historic artistic traditions of Japan, but challenge living artists to continuously improve and incorporate their own individual style while still mastering their craft.