Installation view of Yoko Ozawa’s work <em>吹き溜まり Fukidamari — a bank of falling leaves</em> 2022 on display as part of the <em>Melbourne Now</em> exhibition at The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia, Melbourne from 24 March – 20 August 2023.   Image: Tom Ross

Yoko Ozawa

Yoko Ozawa
(b. 1971, Tokyo, Japan. Lives and works in Melbourne)

Born in Japan and based in Melbourne, Yoko Ozawa is a ceramic artist whose practiceis inspired by the Japanese notion of yohaku (blank space). Ozawa has made ceramics since 2003, and her work is frequently informed by an awareness of natural phenomena: seasonal transitions, temperature, light and shadows.

吹き溜まり Fukidamari — a bank of falling leaves, 2022, began with the artist digging a hole in the ground to make a mould. Ozawa asked herself a question: What might be the large vessel that envelops everything – the ocean, our bodies, the Earth? In a continuation of her ongoing project about natural phenomena, 包まれる Tustusmareru – Surrounding, this new work is brought to life through a modest hole in the artist’s garden. She says: ‘The falling leaves with the dust and sand blown by the wind and drifted into the bank, shaped themselves into a large vessel’. The result is a series of simple shapes that conveys depth and stillness and offers a broader rumination on the natural world around us.

Ozawa has a Bachelor of Fine Art (Japanese Painting) from Musashino Art University in Tokyo, and a Diploma of Graphic Design from The Japan Design College in Tokyo. She has held solo exhibitions at Maud and Mabel, London (2020); Minä Perhonen Galleria, Kyoto (2019); The Cold Press, London (2019); Mr Kitly, Melbourne (2018); c3 Contemporary Art Space, Melbourne (2017); and coto.coto, Matsumoto (2016). She has been a finalist in the Victorian Craft Awards, the Clunes Ceramic Award and the Manningham Victorian Ceramic Art Awards.