Pile up

Tomohisa Obana

June 28, 2024 - July 17, 2024


SOM GALLERY is delighted to announce "Pile up," a solo exhibition by Tomohisa Obana on view from June 28 to July 17.This exhibition, Obana's first show at SOM GALLERY, will feature a large number of pure ceramic works, which will be the main theme of Obana's perception of ceramic.

Obana consistently explores to update the context of craft history in a way that is not bound by preconceived notions, while keeping traditional craft technique, rather than letting ceramics remain in a utilitarian form.

Ceramic, one of the traditional crafts, has been in the spotlight in recent years, both inside and outside of Japan. However, in the realm of contemporary art, ceramic is appreciated not for its functional aspect as a vessel, but as a sculptural object with mass.
Thus, Obana, who considers ceramic art, which has aspects as both craftwork and contemporary art, as an ambiguous entity, dares to create purposeless ceramic that also have no meaning.This is a reflection of Obana's perspective to the times, and it is precisely because this era in which he lives is ambiguous that he creates works that do not fit into a single answer.
In addition, Obana consistently challenges the viewer to explore boundaries through his ceramic.
From where and with what can we distinguish between craft and art? Ceramic is composed of clay, but to what extent is the state of clay, and from what point does it become a work of art? In a time when the correctness of uniqueness is being lost, Obana's attitude toward ceramic is expressed in the fact that he dares not find a solution and accepts even the ambiguity and instability of the state.

In this exhibition, he releases a group of works focusing on the act of "pile up".
Ceramic, which are piled up multiple ceramic plates, have no function as vessels, but only as objects. The viewer is confronted with a purposeless object, and as they naturally attempt to find meaning in it, a dialogue will emerge that transcends the realm of craft and becomes a contemporary art.

Tomohisa Obana was born in Kyoto in 1983. After graduating from the Department of Ceramics, Kyoto Saga Art College, he studied under Darren Damonte in Iga, Mie Prefecture.Currently based in Iga, he is showing his works at galleries domestically and internationally.
Major solo exhibitions include ”BOX” final chapter - A small, gentle voice won’t get you what you want, louder. - at Mizusai (Tokyo, 2023),  "To see the rainbow at night, I must make it myself.", at Nonaka-Hill (Los Angeles, 2022), ” -archive- chapter3” at wad (Osaka, 2022).Major group exhibitions include "not titled (not “Untitled”)" at Nonaka-Hill (Los Angeles, 2022), "Sized" at Sized (Los Angeles, 2021), "Busy Work at Home" at Nonaka-Hill (Los Angeles, 2021), "Sea Change" at Ratio 3 (San Francisco, 2021).

The exhibition features about 30 three-dimensional and two-dimensional works.

We look forward to welcoming you to the exhibition.


Installation View