Oki Toshie – Opening Reception
Oki Toshie (b. 1976) is a self-proclaimed introvert who, instead of using words, expresses herself through her artwork. Her strongest desire is to create works that will move the hearts of viewers. “I try to balance my emphasis between representation and beauty of form,” she says. “It is a constant process of trial and error, but I am proud to say that I put my heart and soul into each piece I create.”
The last student of Living National Treasure Iizuka Shokansai, her engagement with Japanese bamboo art began at an exhibition she visited while in high school. She was amazed that a utilitarian object such as a basket could become a vehicle for artistic expression. “Japanese people are good at communicating within the limitations of a fixed form, such as in haiku and tanka poetry,” says Oki. In a similar way, Oki expresses herself within the constraints of vessel forms, creating elegant and evocative trays and flower baskets.
Observers may note from titles like Stellar Tides, Snowy Peaks, and Daybreak that the artist is inspired by nature. With Swift Water, the artist skillfully expresses the ripples and eddies of a fast-flowing stream through a relief of individually bent strips of bamboo.
One of the foremost bamboo artists working in Japan, Oki’s exhibition at TAI Modern includes this year’s Asahi Newspaper Prize winning piece from the Eastern Division. Her works have been included in major museum collections and exhibitions throughout the United States and Japan.