In his installation, reverse of volume RG, Yasuaki Onishi uses the simplest materials — plastic sheeting and black hot glue — to create a monumental, mountainous form that appears to float in space. The process that he calls “casting the invisible” involves draping the plastic sheeting over stacked cardboard boxes, which are then removed to leave only their impressions. This process of “reversing” sculpture is Onishi’s meditation on the nature of the negative space, or void, left behind.
Onishi wanted to create an installation that would change as visitors approached and viewed it from outside of the glass wall to inside the gallery space. Seen through the glass, the undulating, exterior surface and dense layers of vertical black strands are primarily visible. At first glance, standing in the center of the gallery’s foyer, it appears to be a suspended, glowing mass whose exact depth is difficult to perceive. Upon entering the gallery and walking along the left or the right side, the installation transforms into an airy opening that can be entered. Almost like stepping into an inner sanctum or cave-like chamber, the semi-translucent plastic sheeting and wispy strands of hot glue envelop the viewer in a fragile, tent-like enclosure speckled with inky black marks. Visitors can walk in and out of the contemplative space, observing how the simplest qualities of light, shape, and line change.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Yasuaki Onishi studied sculpture at University of Tsukuba and Kyoto City University of Arts. He has had solo exhibitions throughout Japan and internationally, and his work was included in Ways of Worldmaking (2011), at the National Museum of Art, Osaka (NMAO). His most recent solo exhibition in the United States was in 2012 at the The Marlin and Regina Miller Gallery at Kutztown University in Kutztown, Pennsylvania. In 2010, Onishi was the recipient of a United States-Japan Foundation Fellowship that included a residency at the Vermont Studio Center, as well as a grant from The Pollock-Krasner Foundation Inc., New York.