Yoichi Ohira

Yoichi Ohira

Japanese, born in Tokyo in 1946
Lives in Japan.

Having settled in Murano for more than 35 years, the Japanese glass artist Yoichi Ohira has found an inexhaustible source of inspiration in the small Italian island, and made glass into an infinite territory for his own explorations.

Throughout his career, Ohira has produced an incomparable body of work that encompasses all the traditional techniques of Venetian blown and cold-worked glass. Intentionally detached from any art movement or references, he lays claim to an art inspired by what surrounds him: Venice laguna, the seasons, the windows of Venetian houses.

Although made of cold and hard glass, Ohira’s objects fit comfortably in the hand and their smooth surfaces and curves are appealing to the touch. Inviting the viewer to pick them up, to handle and scrutinise them, each piece has something of the mesmeric quality of a kaleidoscope.

Ohira is a designer not a craftsman. There is no improvisation in his practice. All the pieces exhibited —spanning from 1995 to 2008— are born from sharp watercolour drawings studded with precise instructions for the glass maestri of Murano; those able to make glass look opaque, to take on the aspect of ivory or wood, the texture of a breeze on water, or the sleekness of wax, to imitate the patterns of malachite or marble, to evoke a flower petal, a lichen or a precious stone; that is, the ones able to reach and meet Ohira’s insatiable versatility and demanding imagination.