As we celebrate our three-year anniversary, Mind Set Art Center has organized “Tree of Life”, the first solo exhibition by Japanese artist Shinji Ohmaki. The exhibition has received sponsorship from Fabulous Group, and will be on display at two building projects, namely, Fabulous Reception Center and Xinsheng 16 Conception Space. Two themes including “Tree of life: Form” and “Tree of Life: Substance” serve as dierent representations for Shinji under the theme “tree of life”.
My f irst impression of Shinji Ohmaki dates back to “Meditation” at the Asian Art Biennial of National Taiwan Museum of Fine Art. I remember being dazzled and impressed by Shinji’s work and his use of space. The pure white space produced from white correction uid makes one feel as if in heaven, oating around in a surreal imaginary world.
After getting to know Shinji Ohmaki better, I realized that his artwork is about embracing people and space. He employs objects and materials to embrace space, while he touches the heart of people with emotions and warmth. The artist takes the basic elements from nature or from cities as inspiration, and uses correction uid as paint. Using rocks, tree bark, patterned fabric as his canvas, the artist combines together and piles up images of flowers, plants, and streets. Even for serious issues such as the dying of plants or the environment, Shinji Ohmaki reminds viewers and expresses his opinions in a gentle manner, which in turn provides solace and strength. The installation at “Tree of life: Form” called “Story of pine” has thousands of fabric strings tied together to pray for good luck, while the piece Value has three floating Taiwan Hemlocks’ bark removed and peeled open. In turn, the color that is portrayed as a result manifests the artist’s gentleness and tender spirit. The same qualities are evident at Xinsheng 16 in the Tree of Life: Substance exhibition venue. In the work of “Echoes-crystallization/Metabolism”, the artist uses Taiwan’s traditional patterned fabric as canvas and portrays the image of Taipei while using correction fluid as paint. Images of owers are piled up on top of one another, while viewers are left in awe by the artist’s ability to combine nature and the culture landscape. Another piece of installation work is “Echoes-crystallization/Extraction method of infinite”, which showcases the low-key, simplistic, and refined side of Shinji Ohmaki. The installation work combines moon and rocks, expressing the Japanese ideas of zen. At the same time, the mountain rock is split open, which is a very contemporary expression. The essence of artwork and space is transformed as a result of this combination.
Shinji Ohmaki, an expert at employing art to transform space, has produced artworks that are highly poetic. Yet at the same time, they also showcase the artist’s love for the world and for the society he lives in. The artist’s way of expression that seems to be gentle and peaceful, when actually the content conveys his philosophy of life. Shinji Ohmaki tries to blur the concept of “border” and challenges the idea of hierarchy. By these means, the artist inspires us with a kind of dynamism, as viewers are inspired by art. The “form” and “substance” of the “tree of life” become strongly connected while also prospering independently. In a way, the form and substance of the tree of life are amboyant as blossoming owers, and ripe as hanging fruits.