Whitestone Gallery is proud to announce the 11th Chozaemon Ohi will have the first solo exhibition, “Transend” at Whitestone Gallery Taipei. Toshio Ohi was born in Kanazawa, Japan in 1958. He was born as the eldest son of the 10th Chozaemon Ohi. Toshio Ohi not only inherited the skill and the culture of the Ohi family that has passed on for centuries but also received a master’s degree from Boston University. As the successor of Ohi ware, he was influenced by the culture of both East and West. While handing over the tradition, he always sought for new breakthrough and developed his unique artistic style by using the conventional pottery skill and stucco.
“Ohi ware” originated in the early Edo period, when the 5th lord Tsunanori Maeda of the Kaga Domain, which yielded one million koku of rice annually, invited Senso (Sositsu Sen, the 4th head of the Urasenke school of tea) from Kyoto to Kanazawa as the magistrate of tea ceremony. Potter Chozaemon Haji, who was the top apprentice of the fourth Raku master Ichinyu, accompanied Senso to Kanazawa. He found clay suitable for Raku pottery around the place where Ohi-cho in Kanazawa City is located now, and started producing ceramics such as tea bowls, which were later called “Ohi ware”. Under the generous protection of the Kaga Domain, Ohi ware developed over 350 years. It is still appreciated as a rare tea vessel in the world of tea ceramics.
In 2016 Toshio Ohi Succeeded to the title and became the 11th Ohi Chozaemon. While being loyal to the tradition of Ohi ware, he creates ceramics with a modern twist. Besides exhibiting works of pottery, craftsmanship and other genres, he has also pursued wide-ranging activities such as participating in furniture design fair “Milano Salone” in Italy and creating his own brand ‘Si Ji Fang Tu’(means ‘rich soil of 4 seasons’ in Chinese) in China, which imparts a fresh new style to ancient traditions of Jingdezhen and Yixing like ‘porcelain’ and ‘purple sand’ (a type of local colored clay called zisha [purple sand] in Chinese). After the opening of the Hokuriku Bullet train/Shinkansen, he supervised the interior design of Kanazawa Station and the interior and exterior design of tour buses. Thus, not just as heir to the tradition of the Ohi pottery family, but as a contemporary artist, he engages in wide-ranging activities in Japan and internationally. In addition, he gives his energies to planned as well as publicly sponsored exhibitions aimed at expanding the concept of craftmanship, and he puts also his efforts into the fostering of young artists.