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Otani Workshop

12 December 2023 - 17 February 2024



In the creative world of Otani Workshop, solitude pervades each individual. Subtle expressions, unwittingly revealed in solitude, encapsulate everything: smiles brought on by memories, foggy uncertainty about the future, and bewilderment in the present, all frozen in a fleeting slice of time.

During his university leave, Otani embarked on a solitary journey, echoing Junzaburō Nishiwaki’s sentiment, “In solitude felt, thus I exist.” In his wanderings, Otani was in search of himself. Born in Shiga Prefecture and surrounded by pottery from a young age, his tactile memories of playing with clay as a child drew him back to Shiga. There, he infused every piece of his work with solitary visions and moments, turning the vague images in his mind into tangible “beings” for others to observe, imagine, and perceive, allowing the solitary to metamorphose into a palpable beauty that can be displayed, conveyed, and even communicated.

On his travels, Otani so observed, “Whether it is a modern or contemporary art museum, an ancient temple, or a historical museum collection. When viewed from the perspective of human history, fine arts, crafts, and other handicrafts are all part of an evolving spectrum.”

It is this gradual transition that Otani kneads into his work, crystallizing into ceramic pieces, sculptures, and paintings. Therefore, “Otani Workshop” remains his chosen name. Signifying more than just a contemporary art studio in the Chinese context, it resonates with the Japanese tradition of pottery, aligning more closely with the concept of a workshop or factory in artisanal practice. Yet unlike traditional workshops, his is a solitary endeavor, devoid of any direct lineage or disciples. Otani’s wish for his creations to inhabit an ambiguous stage, blurring the lines between art and craft in our time and age, may stem from his own observations of this evolving spectrum.


12 December 2023
17 February
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