Toshio Ohi is the 11th-generation head (Chozaemon Ohi) of his family lineage, known for their association with Ohi ware. In the early Edo period, the 5th lord of the Kaga Domain, Tsunanori Maeda, invited Senso (Sositsu Sen, the 4th head of the Urasenke school of tea) from Kyoto to assume the role of tea ceremony magistrate in Kanazawa. Accompanying Senso on this journey was Chozaemon Haji, a skilled potter and the top apprentice of the fourth Raku master, Ichinyu. In the region now known as Ohi-cho in Kanazawa City, Chozaemon discovered clay suitable for Raku pottery, leading to the production of ceramics, including tea bowls, which later became known as Ohi pottery. Generously supported by the Kaga Domain, Ohi pottery thrived for over 350 years and continues to be revered as a cherished treasure in the world of tea ceramics.
While diligently preserving the rich traditions of Ohi pottery, Toshio Ohi infuses his creations with a contemporary sensibility. Exploring new possibilities, he has ventured beyond the borders of Japan, working with various types of clay sourced from different parts of the world, including China, South Korea, Taiwan, and Arabic countries. Through these experiments and interactions with local communities, he strives to forge his own path and establish a new artistic tradition. Notably, even for his sculptural works, he remains true to the ‘tedukune’ method – an ancient hand-forming technique associated with Raku pottery – eschewing the use of a potter’s wheel. However, in recent times, he has pushed the boundaries further by incorporating ceramics into the surfaces of building walls, thus creating a novel realm of expression within the ceramics world.
Toshio Ohi’s exceptional works have been acquired by prestigious art collections worldwide. His pieces can be found in prominent institutions such as the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (USA), Detroit Institute of Arts (USA), Everson Museum of Art (USA), Sévres National Museum of Ceramics (France), Taipei Fine Arts Museum (Taiwan), Jingdezhen Ceramics Museum (China), 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art (Japan), and numerous other European and Asian art galleries.