Shinji Ohmaki’s Immersive Installations

by Nastia VoynovskayaPosted on

Hermes. Singapore. 2012.

Japanese artist Shinji Ohmaki’s installations are either starkly minimalist or wildly flamboyant, with little middle ground. The artist’s “Echoes-Infinity” series, for instance, is an ongoing project that began in 2002. Ohmaki paints entire rooms floor to ceiling, creating hypnotizing floral patterns that stand out against the white negative space. In Japanese culture, specific flowers are associated with different meanings – the peony, for example, is tied to passion while the chrysanthemum is a symbol of grief. In this way “Echoes-Infinity” references art historical tradition while providing viewers with an immersive, multi-sensory experience.

The “Liminal Air” series, unlike the ornate and colorful “Echoes-Infinity,” is monochromatic and geometric. Ohmaki hangs thousands of threads from a venue’s ceiling until they form large, looming blocks that appear solid yet are completely permeable. Viewers can walk under these clouds-like arrangements of thread as if traversing a thick atmosphere. Yet despite the initial contrast, the floral rooms and the thread installations share a hallmark of Ohmaki’s technique: aggregating small, modest elements until they become a spectacle for the viewer to experience.

Kumamoto City Museum of Contemporary Art. 2009.

Singapore Art Museum. 2012.

21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art. Ishikawa, Japan. 2007.

Gallery A4. Tokyo, Japan, 2006.

Open Air Musuem. Kanagawa. 2012.

Ritsurin Park. Takamatsu. 2013.

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