About the Artist

William Dean Sarno

Toyoko Katsumata

The Kim Family

Suguru Hiraide

Beanie Kaman

Cha Ki Youl

Toko Tokunaga

Rikuo Ueda

Prawat Laucharoen

Michael Freitas Wood

Dan Nadaner

Graham Goddard

Razmik Samvelts

Geoff Mitchell

James Patrick Finnegan

Luis Becerra

Mark Griffin

Sallie Whistler Marcucci

Kamol Tassananchalee

Ramone Muñoz

Kunio Ohashi

Janet Mackaig

Pat Berger

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Kunio Ohashi

 

There are encounters to be had living in the city that confront a viewer with an almost uncanny sense of being, a hybrid form of life that inhabits an invisible space between structure and nature. Perhaps a Morton Bay Fig tree buckling the sidewalk with its roots, a brick wall covered in trailing ivy, or the surprising sight of a tumbleweed rolling down an empty freeway. Artist Kunio Ohashi takes this erstwhile life form and directs us to its twinkling eye, inviting us into the brilliantly colorful menagerie of his own making.

 

 

Using his extensive background in neon, from commercial and residential design projects to his training in bending neon glass, the artist fuses color and light that not only transfixes the eye, but sweeps up the materials he combines with them to glow and hover into the viewer’s immediate experience. He fashions a synthesis of natural materials and hauntingly man-made elements that are necessarily surprising and various in their forms, echoing the sense of light, life and place that shape the most serendipitous discoveries in our modern urban environment. Stepping away from design, his own trade, and working to isolate the independant life behind the interplay of light and structure, he teaches how to derivate essence from the composite of function.

 

 

In an installation called Sleeping Man, shown at the Cal Trans Plaza in Los Angeles, blue nylon fabric is wrapped into the form of a reclining figure, a primary blue glow playing throughout its surface from within. In his sculpture and Landscape series, he draws on an interplay of light and found natural materials, such as driftwood and stone, combining the sensations of energy and calm he finds in them with the surprise element of the neon, and creating individual works that allow these elements to coexist.

 

 

The Ohashi exhibit at LA Artcore, which took place in September, 2010, at the Union Center for the Arts, was related by all visitors to be a stimulating experience. Glow, color and shadow filled the two rooms of the gallery, inducing smiles and exhalations of surprise. This falls into perfect step with the artist's impression of Tokyo in his youth, where 'large corporate advertising neon murals cover buildings to create a non-stop exciting atmosphere'.

RLS