Minoru Ohira

The 26th Denchu Hirakushi Award 

The Denchu Hirakushi award was established by the gift of money which Denchu, who had reached his 100th birthday, wanted used for the promotion of the art of wood carving. The prize encourages high achievement and may be ranked with the Teijirou Nakahara award in the sculpture world of Japan. At present the city of Ibara supervises the selection of the best work from the works shown in public during a period of two years,and confers the prize on an artist every two years. Twelve outstanding art critics and sculptors in Japan judge the best work. An exhibition of the Denchu Hirakushi award winner's works is held for about a month in the DENCHU ART MUSEUM.
Minoru Ohira  

315 Ibara-Cho Ibara-City Okayama, Japan 715-8601
tel 0866-62-8787 fax 0866-62-9567 e-mail:dencyu@city.ibara.okayama.jp HP http://www.city.ibara.okayama.jp/denchu_museum/english-index.html

The Japan Times
Sculptor based in U.S. bags Hirakushi award
California-based sculptor Minoru Ohira has received this year’s Denchu Hirakushi Award for his works employing materials such as construction waste and dead branches. Ohira is the first artist residing outside Japan to win the prestigious award, which was established in 1971 with funds donated by Denchu Hirakushi, an influential artist who continued to create sculptures until he died in 1979 at the age of 107. “Don’t you think it’s wonderful to see things that were once disposed of and dead recover as art?” Ohira said in an interview when he was in Japan recently. He was referring to art created by indigenous people in Mexico using waste materials and spare cloth. After obtaining a master’s degree in art education at Tokyo University of the Arts, Ohira went to Mexico at the age of 28 to study there. Three years later, he moved to Los Angeles to concentrate on creative activities. He can basically work anywhere, though, because “material costs are almost nothing and the only tools are my fingers,” he said. One art critic said Ohira’s work must “finds its roots in the image of thatched roofs in the village of Kurokawa in Niigata Prefecture where he was born and grew up.” Ohira said after receiving the award that he was reminded of a phrase used by Denchu Hirakushi in a book: “Men in their 60s and 70s are still runny-nosed kids and a real man should be 100 years or older.” “I believe I’ve just reached the starting point as a sculptor,” Ohira said. “I’m not sure if I can make it to 100, but I always try to stay healthy.” His works are exhibited or housed in museums and facilities across Japan, including Niigata City Art Museum, the Hara Museum of Contemporary Art in Tokyo and Asahikawa Museum of Art in Hokkaido, as well as abroad in Taiwan, Thailand, Mexico and Australia in addition to various U.S. states. In 2009, Ohira received the Teijiro Nakahara Award for sculptures by Japanese artists.

Minoru Ohira was awarded the 36th Teijiro Nakahara Award

The Teijiro Nakahara Award was established in 1970 at Asahikawa City, Hokaido to honor the work of Teijiro Nakahara who establishment of the history of mordern sculpture in Japan. This award intended to contribute to the futher development of Japanese sculpture and selected Japanese artists who exhibited great works in Japan from April 1, 2007 to March 31, 2009. The 36th Teijiro Nakahara Award selection committee took place in Asahikawa Grand Hotel on May 20, 2009. Minoru Ohira was selected from 560 Artists, 1,568 works. The 36th Teijiro Nakahara Award went to Ohira's work "Casa ". The 36th Teijiro Nakahara Award selection committee will hold an award presentation ceremony at Asahikawa city Oyuki Cristal Hall on October 4, 2009.
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The NACT Annual Show of Contemporary Art
The National Art Center Tokyo, Roppongi
March 4, 2009, Wednesday- May 6, 2009, Wednesday

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Santa Ana Wind   casa   Tree in Desert   Cloud on Ground
Santa Ana Wind   casa   Tree in Desert   Cloud on Ground

Roppongi Art Night
3/28(sat)10:00 - 3/29(sun)18:00
main program time 17:59[sunset] - 5:32[sunrise]
Theme Programs - Hunt the Art - 3 Art cubes at the NACT

Closed on Tuesdays (except May 5)      Museum hours : 10:00 - 18:00 (Friday 10:00 - 20:00)
Last admission 30 minutes before closing      Venue: Special Exhibition Gallery 2E,
The National Art Center, Tokyo      7-22-2 Roppongi Minato-ku, Tokyo, Japan
Organizers : The National Art Center, Tokyo      Assisted by Mondriaan Foundation, Amsterdam

Artist file - this NACT exhibition introduces a contemporary art movement that begins now and moves into the future. Each year we present what we believe to be good examples of current art - art that takes us into the future.  This second group show has no theme but focuses on 9 different artists.
The work of these 9 artists comprise a broad range of media, including painting, sculpture, photography, film, and installation art. The themes included in the exhibition are based on media, geography, formal concerns and collective aesthetic and political impulses. " Artist file 2009" curated by NACT gives one the feeling of a depth of artistic expression with more diversity than past exhibitions.

Selected Artists:
Peter Bogers , Film
Shigeko Hirakawa , Installation
Naoki Ishikawa , Photography
Mio Kaneda , Painting
Aiko Miyanaga , Installation
Shingo Murai , Sculpture
Minoru Ohira , Sculpture
Meo Saito , Painting
Miyuki Tsugami , Painting

Minoru Ohira Solo Exhibition "Petrified People"   
Feburary 16, 2009, Monday - March 7, 2009, Saturday

Muramatsu Gallery 1F Kindai Building, 3-7-4, Kyobashi, Chuo-ku, Tokyo, Japan   
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Big Hug   Earth   Deep Sleep   Sacrifice
Contemplation #1   Contemplation #2   Contemplation #3   Sumi&Minoru

"Space Gallery December 1975 - August 1995"
W. Keith and Janet Kellogg University Art Gallery, California State Polytechnic University Pomona
September 14, 2008 - October 18, 2008
Reception Sunday Sept 14, 2 – 5PM

Beginning series #05-3
The idea of doing a retrospective of Ed Lau's Space Gallery had been in its formative stages for the last couple of years. Some rough ideas for the exhibition had been worked out with Ed prior to his death in April of 2008. While not originally intended as a tribute to Ed Lau, since his death the exhibition has assumed that dimension. I (curator Patrick Merrill) always felt that there was a specific aesthetic to the work exhibited over the years at Space. Of course this had everything to do with Ed. Whether the work was abstract or based on narrative there seemed to me many shared qualities – for example, sensitivity to material, subtle psychological tension and a high respect for craft. Ed seemed to seek out artists who themselves were searching for essentials. Ed once told me that the relationship between an artist and his/her gallerist was similar to that of a marriage. He would say he was in it for the long haul – good times and bad. As a result he didn’t choose artists on a whim or who might be in fashion but by watching them over time, seeing their development and above all, their commitment to their art. Commitment to his artists was very important to Ed. It was probably one of the major reasons he developed such a high-caliber group of artists. This exhibit is not intended to be some sort of history of Space Gallery. It is to be about the Space Gallery’s artists. This exhibition is not so much about what the artists were doing then, but rather what everyone is doing now, how they have evolved.
Participating Artists:
Bob Anderson, Sandy Bleifer, Carl Cheng, Wes Christensen, Steve Cortright, Phyllis Davidson, John Davis, Christel Dillbohner, Roberta Eisenberg, Bella Feldman, Judith Foosaner, Robert Glover, Joe Edward Grant, Kenneth Hale, Larry Hurst, Kazuo Kadonaga, Joyce Kohl, Seiji Kunishima, Sam Lemly, Norman Lundin, Minoru Ohira, Carlos Padilla, Ann Page, Patrick Percy, Tom Post, Norman Schwab, Olga Seem, Tom Stanton, Masami Teraoka, Richard Thompson, Judy Tuwalelstiwa, Alan Valencia, Boyd Wright, Doug Young, Michael Davis