Zenji's creativity manifests itself in the huge variety in his work. His work reflects the experience that has been accumulated over the past thirty years working as an independent potter. Despite this, he is constantly experimenting with his style, making his work the most varied of our potters.
NOTE FROM ZENJI ONUKI
We can find unique ceramic artworks in most civilisations where fire is used. Japanese ceramic history started in the Jomon Era, almost 5000 years ago. Up to today Japan has produced enormous numbers of ceramic artworks including artificial ruby and diamond, changing the style variously. In this sense, we Japanese adore ceramic works very much.
Making ceramic artworks leads me to find various aspects of culture represented by ceramic art, which is a great fun for me for I feel like producing new sense of value inside myself. Ceramic artworks represent the culture of the country and, at the same time, the lives and traditions by the people living in the country develops new ceramics, culture and art. In this sense the role of ceramic art is significant. It would be wonderful if I could be a part of such role myself.
Once in a long while, I get very excited while I am making a piece of work. Then an illusional idea that making is my true vocation springs to my mind instantly. Although it may be false illusion actually, I become very happy, because I feel as if I got a gift from God in the heaven and I could seize on the point of contact between the meaning of my existence and the society I'm living in. This may be my original point for making artworks. I'm so fascinated in making and I really wish I could continue forever.
1953 Born in Suginami, Tokyo
1975 Graduated from Jiyu Gakuen
1977 After he worked at Art Magazine,
he moved to Tsukamoto workshop
1981 Established a wood fire kiln and now works independently
1988-1996 Gallery Binrou, Mashiko, Tochigi - Private exhibition
1990 Gallery Tamaki, Utsunomiya, Tochigi
1991 Awajicho Gallery in Kanda, Tokyo - Group exhibition
Gallery 22, Waseda, Tokyo: 'Fossil Series by Ceramics'
1992 Matsuya Art Gallery in Ginza, Tokyo - Private exhibition
Space Exhibition in Ginza
La Bellet in Kashiwa, Chiba - Private exhibition
1994 Open-Air Sculpture Exhibition in Kyoto
Matsuya Art Gallery in Ginza
1994-2003 Gallery Shun in Hiroo, Tokyo - Private exhibition
1997 Gallery Le Mani in Numazu, Shizuoka
1998 Gallery Theis in Berlin, Germany - Private exhibition
Gallery Iwama in Okazaki, Aichi
1999 Gallery Neos in Nakano, Tokyo - Private exhibition
2000 Gallery Jager in Hochheim, Germany - Shared exhibition
2001 Studio Exhibition in Dudelusheim, Germany - Guest artist
2003 Gallery TOKO in Mashiko, Tochigi
Mashiko Meeting in Hannover, Germany Hannover Handicraft Museum - Group exhibition
2005 Gallery KANA Art in Seoul, Korea
1998 Grassi Museum in Leipzig, Germany
1998 Keramik Museum in Berlin, Germany
2001 Grassi Museum in Leipzig, Germany