ASIA WEEK NEW YORK 2024
KOGEI and Art
Inoue Manji / David Stanley Hewett
March 14 – 22, 2024
Opening Receptions: Thursday, March 14, 5-8pm
Special Asia Week Hours: Daily, 10am-5pm, except Sunday March 16
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.
As well as highlighting the best of contemporary KOGEI, the exhibition marks the incorporation of KOGEI USA, an American not-for-profit organization formed with the goal of raising awareness of Japanese traditional arts outside their country of origin.
ABOUT THE GALLERY
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.