In 2018 Japanese artist Setsuko Ono will bring her work to London for the first time, with two consecutive solo exhibitions.
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. These delicate sculptures are created from sheets of steel welded by Ono herself.
Inspired by meeting her musical hero John Cage as a teenager, and watching his silent performance 4’33”, the artist works with little in the way of planning, detailed blueprints or preliminary drawings. Setsuko Ono’s recent work also includes mixed media paintings that reflect her interest in international politics.
Ono’s exhibition at the Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation in February will be followed by a show at Asia House in March 2018. Both London exhibitions will include sculpture and mixed media paintings, and visitors will be able to use virtual reality goggles to experience Ono’s permanent installations in Japan – in Shinagawa, Tokyo, and at Hara Museum ARC in Shibukawa, Gunma Prefecture.
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At the event, the artist signed catalogues.
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.