Alongside her debut solo UK exhibition at Japan House Gallery, Japanese artist Setsuko Ono gave a talk at the foundation on the 23rd February, 6pm. Ono discussed the concepts behind her paintings, sculptures, and her two public sculptures in Japan, Ocean and Dreams. The outdoor sculptures are located at Hara Museum, Tokyo, and can be viewed in the exhibition through virtual reality goggles. Ono will also discuss her progression into steel working, which she took up in 1995, and the techniques she uses – making spontaneous sculptures, drawing directly onto the metal without a blueprint or a plan.
Ono creates steel sculptures characterised by their cut-out shapes, forming open and closed figures and designs. The cut-out silhouettes are bent in an animated way, while the cut-out negatives let sunlight and views of nature through, so the sculptures integrate and melt into the surrounding environment.
The exhibition will also include mixed media paintings that reflect the artist’s interest in international politics, illustrating Ono’s emotional responses to war and migration throughout history, from the Spanish Civil War from 1936 to 1939, to the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising of 1943 and the European migrant crisis.
Ono’s exhibition at the Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation will be followed by a show at Asia House in March 2018.
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At the event, the artist will sign catalogues.
A video of the talk can be found here:
About the contributors
The younger sister of Yoko Ono, Setsuko Ono was born in Tokyo and grew up between Japan, Europe, and the United States. She received a BA in English Literature from University of the Sacred Heart, Tokyo, before completing a degree in International Relations and then a PhD in Political Science at the Graduate Institute Geneva. Ono worked at the World Bank for 28 years, while pursuing a formal art education in Washington, but she only began exhibiting her art once she retired in 2003. In the year of her retirement, Ono had her first exhibition at the Eighth Havana Biennial. Since then, she has had 14 permanent public sculptures installed in Havana, Baltimore, Tokyo and at Hara Arc Museum in Shibukawa, Japan.