Japanese artistry featured in 2 Dayton Art Institute exhibits

Two complementary collections will showcase the artistry of Japanese creators at the Dayton Art Institute through the end of summer.

The exhibits, which open at the institute on Saturday, June 24, feature the two distinct mediums of ceramics and washi— a traditional Japanese paper.

The Washi Transformed: New Expressions in Japanese Paper and Born of Fire: Contemporary Japanese Women Ceramic Artists exhibits will offer an inside perspective into the culture and artistry of Japan at the gallery through Sept. 17.

“As the only Ohio venue to host both exhibitions, the DAI is excited to showcase two different mediums of art that have been reimagined by a talented group of artists,” DAI director Michael Roediger said. “To witness the two exhibitions together is sure to be a memorable and powerful experience for all that attend, and we’re honored to share in that with the community.”

Through 35 pieces, the Washi Transformed collection goes “far beyond the folding traditions of origami and explore[s] the seemingly infinite possibilities of the medium,” according to the DAI. The whole exhibit was created by seven Japanese women and two Japanese men with the creative vision of crafting contemporary art with ancient traditions of the culture that connect the past with the present.

The complementing exhibit, Born of Fire, was created by 15 female Japanese ceramics artists. With influences from nature and the Japanese culture, the 15 ceramic pieces spotlight the diverse work of artists both internationally known and those just emerging. Similar to the Washi Transformed collection, the Born of Fire ceramic exhibit “straddles both the old and the new,” according to the DAI.

Credit: Mike Lundgren

Credit: Mike Lundgren

The mundanity of the mediums makes for a special perspective of the artwork featured in the collection, according to Peter Doebler, the DAI’s Kettering Curator of Asian Art.

“Paper and clay are so much a part of our everyday lives— from handling documents at the office to drinking coffee in a mug— that it is easy to take them for granted. The artists in these exhibitions reawaken us to their magic,” Doebler said. “Ranging from eye-catching artworks that immediately grab your attention to more subtle ones that reward patient looking, they all inspire wonder at both the imagination of the makers and the amazing variety of what is possible with these humble materials.”

The DAI is hosting several events coinciding with the exhibits. Full schedule provided by the Dayton Art Institute:

•Curatorial Conversations: Saturday, July 15 from 1:30-2:30 p.m. and Thursday, Aug. 24 from 5:30-6:30 p.m.

• Exhibition Speaker Series: Yuko Kimura, Saturday, July 29 from 3-4 p.m.

• Gallery Experiences: Select Saturdays, July 1, Aug. 5 and Sept. 2 from 1:30-2:30 p.m., and select Thursdays, July 20, Aug. 17 and Sept. 14 from 5:30-7 p.m.

• Community Studio Workshop: Raku Clay Firing Workshop, Saturday, July 22 and Saturday, Aug. 19. Workshops will occur throughout each day on an hourly schedule. Cost is $35 for members and $40 for non-members.

• Community Studio Workshop: Indigo Shibori Paper Workshop, Thursday, Aug. 10 from 5:30-7 p.m. and Thursday, Sept. 7 from 5:30-7 p.m. Cost is $20 for members and $25 for non-members.

Access to the complementary collections is included in admission to the museum, which is $15 for adults; $10 seniors (60+), active military and groups (10 or more); $5 students (18+) and youth (ages 7–17); and free for children (ages 6 and younger). DAI members are free.

For more information, visit http://www.daytonartinstitute.org/visit.

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