Request Form: Order a custom piece by Naoki Onogawa
△ ”Ultramarine” by Naoki Onogawa
A black tree shrouded in foliage – but not of leaves, but miniature paper cranes – each hand-folded.
“Ultramarine,” first unveiled at self-hosted personal exhibition, is just one of numerous ambitious works carefully created by origami artist Naoki Onogawa.
Onogawa has gained recognition both within and outside Japan, having participated in art-fairs both domestically and abroad while opening his own eponymous art museum, the naoki onogawa museum located in the Setouchi region of Japan.
With such a track record, some may find it surprising that Onogawa takes delight in creating custom art pieces for clients.
△ Naoki Onogawa. Biography and words from the artist [found here].
Onogawa elaborates on why this may be; “The custom-order process requires me to think about how I can apply my paper-crane art to ideas and conceptions that originate from outside of the confines of my own thought processes. There’s an intrigue and a thrill to it – it’s a very different experience to working on a piece solely on my own from start to finish.”
◆Custom order, Case #1.
In Japan, there is a custom called “senbadzuru” – in which people fold one thousand origami paper cranes as a way to pray for the recovery of a loved one battling through illness. This piece centers around the gift of a thousand cranes from a mother to her son through his own struggles with health.
A mother commissioned this piece to commemorate her son’s recovery and his entrance into adulthood, as well as to celebrate the beginning of a journey with his new companion for life.
The client for this piece asked Onogawa to garnish the tree with a brooch engraved with a depiction of the Virgin Mary – a statement of the mother’s own faith as a believer in Christianity.
On this occasion, the client also wanted the work to draw inspiration from some of her own paper cranes that she herself had folded and kept from her son’s period of illness.
As part of this process, the client showed Onogawa her cranes, long shut away – and in the same instance, told him of her intent to throw them away. In response to this, Onogawa instead suggested that they be put into a jar, with Onogawa creating a signature paper crane tree wrapping up and around it, protecting the contents within.
The finished piece can be viewed below.
The piece currently sits at the son’s family home.
The work acts as a symbol – of a son who, with the support of his mother’s love, now stands strong on his own. The piece itself stands with the same strength, with power to both charm and move the viewer.
◆Custom order, Case #2.
This is an interior decoration piece, commissioned by a sushi restaurant located in the Aoyama district of Tokyo.
Before starting the work, Onogawa made a visit to the space that would later house his piece. In visiting beforehand, the process allowed Onogawa to not only create a work that leaves not only a distinct impression, but also blends perfectly with the existing interior design stylings.
◆Custom order, Case #3.
A work commissioned by the Diamond Princess luxury cruise ship line, to be displayed within the vessel. As per request, Onogawa devised the piece while drawing inspiration from the Princess Cruises brand logo.
The cruise line first unveiled the piece to commemorate the first showing of “The Secret Silk” onboard, and Onogawa’s work continues to join the ship on its voyages.
View the press release here (in Japanese): PRTIMES
◆Get in touch
Helena is the newest member at Picaresque Gallery, joining as their in-house English speaking curator and art manager. She handles all international clients, providing clear communication and information on the talented Japanese artists, their work, backgrounds and their commission process. Promoting independent Japanese artists to a wider audience is part of Helena’s drive since there are so many unique, hard working artists in Japan that never get to be seen or understood outside the country and the world is missing out.
Helena is also an artist herself who deeply understands the artistic and commission process which helps both artists at Picaresque and clients achieve a smooth, enjoyable process ending in beautiful, unique art. Her gallery and exhibition creating experience has been mainly London-based, having been weekend gallery manager at Proud Galleries and working on various exhibitions at Somerset House, helped her understand the aesthetics of curation, creating unique art experiences and getting the right, good people to make it all come alive.
When it comes to custom orders, there is no right or wrong answer. In the same way that each of our lives are so unique, so too are our standards of beauty and the stories we have to tell. Each sentiment that clients may hope to embody in Onogawa’s art is unique to them.
No matter the type of work you want made or for what reason, Picaresque Gallery owner Wutami Matsuoka, who has worked with Naoki Onogawa since his debut, is here to answer all of your questions. We eagerly look forward receiving your commission requests.
Please don’t hesitate to contact us.