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Ogata Kamio: The Legend of Neriage

2023.07.04 - 2023.07.29

Exhibition Statement

Touch Gallery is honoured to present the retrospective exhibition of major works by the renowned Japanese artist Ogata Kamio. Born in 1949 in Hokkaido, Ogata was best known for his mastery of neriage, a method of using multiple coloured clays to create patterned effects. As a self-taught ceramist, Ogata preferred the freedom of individual exploration and innovation that challenged the neriage tradition. From creating textured ridges that ripple out like disturbed water to intricate patterns of swirling clouds and waves, Ogata developed a unique personal style suffused with colours, movement and dynamism.  

From the moment a clay comes under the cups of two hands, it begins to shape itself into an art form that transcends the boundary between utility and beauty. For Ogata, the process of making ceramics was an opportunity to challenge his past self and enrich his emotional world. As an avid reader, Ogata was informed by many philosophical ideas in his artistic and conceptual practice. Spanning the past, present and future, each piece of ceramic work is an investigation of complex human feelings like sorrow and joy, despair and hope, or a reflection on issues like social crisis and uncertainty. 

To commemorate the first anniversary of Ogata’s death, this exhibition showcases 50 artworks preserved from his studio, including the series Vertigo which has never been seen in public. Inspired by Umezaki Haruo’s Hallucinations, Vertigo was considered by Ogata to be the emblem of his lifelong artistic achievement. The series uses multi-coloured lines and patterns to create the illusion of three-dimensionality that never fails to dazzle our eyes. Like his favourite author Umezaki, Ogata’s heart and mind were fully devoted to his passion for art, where he had found the true meanings and values of life. As an embodiment of the artist’s spirit, the exhibits hold the power to inspire and captivate those who are drawn to the creation of an undying legend.

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