Ai Ohkawara English  Web portfolio

Artist statement

My art reveals the inner darkness and anxiety of human beings by stimulating our visual sense through various means of media and expression.

Does what we perceive as factual and real truly exist? How much do our views of what define justice and injustice contrast from those with different perspectives. By using lights using optical films onto objects such as antique photograph frames and collages, my art illuminates a variety of views. Such pieces of work provoke the viewer’s recollection and deep psyche, implying our biased perception toward what we see on a daily basis. Through oil paintings and collage I place a layer of acrylic resin over the work to create a sense of double layer, further stimulating the visual senses.

In my childhood, my parents tried to teach me the importance of peace by showing me the pictures of victims and devastating scenes of war. Perhaps it was through this exposure that I started to examine the human condition and I was driven to explore the darker side of being human and the sense of suffocation that stems from the oppression in our society.

I believe that obtaining a multifaceted view is  key to solving bias perceptions. Through my art, I strive to expose the struggle that others fight as they try to break free of the constraints placed on them by society ; the risk of having a singular perspective ; and the internal struggle of life.

Ai Ohkawara Biography

 In 2020, multi award winning novelist “Natsuo Kirino” used Ai Ohkawara work on her novel “日没 (Sunset)”.

 In 2018, Akutagawa award winning novelist “Maki Kashimada” used Ai Ohkawara work on her novel “少年聖女”.

 In 2020, Akutagawa award winning novelist “Noboru Tsujihara” used Ai Ohkawara work on his novel “卍どもえ (Manji domoe)”.

Ai Ohkawara (b.1979, Tokyo, Japan)

Selected Solo Exhibitions

2019, 2016, 2013, 2010, 2008 Takashimaya Shinjuku Gallery, Tokyo, Japan

2018 Matsuzakaya art plus Gallery, Nagoya, Japan

2018, 2007 NODA CONTEMPORARY, Nagoya, Japan

2012 Takashimaya Osaka Gallery NEXT, Osaka, Japan

2012 The Hive Gallery and studios, Los Angeles, U.S.A

2011 Hellion Gallery, Portland, U.S.A

2009 Matsuzakaya Gallery, Nagoya, Japan

2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 Gallery Juichigatsu, Tokyo, Japan


Selected Group Exhibitions

2021  The Sun Also Rises, Peep Show Space, New York (Curator : William Norton)

2019  Material witness, WAH center, New York (Curator : William Norton)

2017  Making their mark, 100 Bogart Gallery, New York  (Curator : William Norton)

           Building bridges, WAH center, New York  (Curator: William Norton)

2011 - 2015 Onward-Navigating the Japanese Future, The Hive gallery and studios, Los Angeles, U.S.A

2015 Summer group show, Monkdogz Urban Art & Artmisia present, New York, U.S.A

2015 Art Fusion 2015, Jadite Galleries, New York, U.S.A

2014 Creative Artists in Milano, ARTE GIAPPONE, Milano, Italy

2012 2nd International Mail Art Exhibition, Than More Mail Art Museum, Hungary

2011 Pulp & Pigment, Hellion Gallery, San Diego

2011 SEIZE- An international exhibition, Monkdogz Urban Art & Artmisia present, New York, U.S.A

2010 Fuyuhiko Yamamoto’s collection, Sato museum, Tokyo, Japan

2007 Jump, Henry Gregg Gallery, New York, U.S.A

2007 Flashing Flesh, Monkdogz Urban Art Gallery, New York, U.S.A

2005 No War, Maruki Museum, Saitama, Japan

2003 12th Sato International Cultural Foundation Scholarship Artists Exhibition, Sato Museum, Tokyo

2002 13th Asia-America-Latin American Art Show, Tokyo Metropolitan Museum, Tokyo, Japan


Selected Art Fairs

2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016,2017, 2018, 2019, 2021 Art Fair Tokyo, Tokyo International Forum, Japan

2013, 2014, 2015 Emerging Director’s Art Fair ULTRA 003-005, Tokyo, Japan

2010 Cut log  Art Fair 2010, Paris, France

2010 Asia Top Gallery Hotel Art Fair 2010, Korea

2009 Sh Contemporary: The Asia Pacific Contemporary Art Fair, Shanghai, China

2009 Art Expo Malaysia 2009, Malaysia

2008, 2009 China International Gallery Exposition 2009, Beijing, China

2007, 2008, 2009 Tokyo Contemporary Art Fair, Tokyo, Japan

2008 Art Singapore 2008, Indonesia

2008 Art Taipei 2008, Taiwan

2007 Asian Contemporary Art Fair 2007, New York, U.S.A


Awards and Honors

2006 Tokyo Wonder Wall Award

2003 Tama・de・Art  2003

2002 First Sato Taisei Art Award

2002 16th Aogaki 2001 Japanese painting Award

Grants and Scholarships

2002 - 2004 12th Sato International Cultural Foundation Scholarship

2001 Moritani Incorporated Foundation Art Scholarship

2001 Musashino College of Art, Graduate Reunion Scholarship

1998 - 2002 Musashino College of Art Scholarship


Selected Articles, Reviews and Books

2019 Art Magazine "Onbeat"

          Art Magazine "Art Collector" 

          Art Magazine "ExtraArt"

2013 Art Magazine “Window of the Art” June, Japan

2013 Art Magazine “Art Collector” June, November , Japan

2012 Book ” Tall trees of Tokyo “ , Published in U.S.A

2010 Art Magazine “Monthly Gallery ” – Pick up artists and exhibitions, November, Japan

2005 Economic Magazine " Volition ",Japan


Appeared in TV

BS Fuji TV "Bureiku-zenya"


Restaurant Arbace. Ginza, Tokyo

Private collections, Tokyo, Japan

Private collections, Russia

Appeared in CM


2002 - 2004 MFA, Japanese Painting, Musashino College of Art, Tokyo, Japan

1998 - 2002 BFA, Japanese Painting, Musashino College of Art, Tokyo, Japan