Yasuaki Onishi, Stone On Boundary


Stone on boundary

December 16, 2023 – May 19, 2024


The HIRAKU Project is a series of exhibitions showcasing contemporary artworks by recipients of the Pola Art Foundation Grant for Emerging Artists. In the 15th exhibition in the series, we are pleased to present works by Yasuaki Onishi, who takes a sculptural approach to space in numerous large-scale installations which he has presented both in Japan and abroad.

Onishi studied sculpture at university, and through his experience with making molds, became interested in relationships between positive forms and negative space and in grasping not only objects themselves but also their surroundings. His works have consistently dealt with the themes of margins, voids, volumes and boundaries.

This exhibition features new works made with copper foil, a material Onishi has utilized extensively in recent years. Copper foil plays crucial roles inside countless electronic devices, yet people rarely see it and most are barely aware of its existence. Onishi removes copper foil from the context of its functional underpinning of our daily lives, shapes it by hammering it over river stones, and subsequently assembles it in large-scale installations.

The surfaces of innumerable stones that traverse the earth’s surface over millennia have undergone physical loss through wear and erosion, but have conversely accrued unimaginable spans of time and come to embody the collective memory of our planet. Through the process of mold-making, Onishi’s copper foil works reveal this interplay of absence and presence and imply that perceiving things requires more than knowing their surfaces––it also requires applying the full richness of our imaginations, and we must acknowledge that even then we will never achieve full understanding.

Onishi’s focus on the absent and the invisible aids us in applying a freer and more flexible sensibility to our grasp of this endlessly complex and diverse world.