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Echiko Ohira is a Japanese artist, who lives and works in Los Angeles CA.  Echiko grew up in Tokyo, and her deep connection and love of paper started from early age.  She was the youngest child of six siblings. Growing up in an old style traditional wooden house, her architect father would bring home used scrap blueprints (technical drawings) for the kids to draw on.  "Growing up in Japan, there were so many papers everywhere, Fusuma (papered sliding door in Japanese) Shoji (another kind of paper sliding door), hanging scrolls, and so on."  Echiko later studied graphic design & art at the Musashino Art University.  Working with paper came naturally to Echiko. While much of her work made use of Japanese washi paper, she also utilized recycled material, used newspaper, notebook pages and craft paper.  Echiko makes use of paper bags, which she creatively transforms in unique ways, as well as found cardboard, thread and nails...and through her practice and perseverance she finds an exquisite second life for these found objects and materials. Numerous key galleries and museums such as the Craft Contemporary Museum and the National Museum of Women in the Arts have featured Echiko Ohira's artworks. 


Finding The Center: Works by Echiko Ohira


Paper Routes

Artist Spotlight | Women to Watch 2020: Echiko Ohira

About Echiko Ohira by Josine Ianco-Starrels

Ohira is a very gifted and quiet woman. The words of French sculptor Jean Arp aptly describe the essence of her work: “Art is a fruit that grows in the artist like a fruit or a plant or a child in the mother's womb. But whereas the fruit of the plant, the fruit of the animal, the fruit in the mother's womb assume autonomous and natural forms, art, the spiritual fruit of man, usually shows an absurd resemblance to the aspect of something else. I love nature but not its substitutes.”
The fruit of Echiko 's hands is lovingly and attentively shaped by her eyes and her mind. Her artwork blooms in silence, assuming marvelously invented forms and complex surfaces---layered, twisted and turned, wrapped or folded --- sometimes ragged, and sometimes silky smooth.
Ohira's Japanese heritage gives her a reverence for nature and its materials ---  a contemplative awe at the rich variety and infinite forms, textures, and colors of the natural world.
Ohira notices every infinitesimal detail, missing nothing and repeating nothing. Her work alludes to and reveals, but never duplicates.
Simple and deep, her works are like Haiku poems: eloquent, short, thoughtful, and unforgettable.

Josine Ianco-Starrels

Romanian-American art curator

1926 - 2019

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