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 papers 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 papers) for the kids to draw on.  "Growing up in Japan, there were so much papers everywhere, Fusuma (papered sliding door in Japanese) Shoji (another kind of paper sliding door), hanging scroll, etc."  Echiko later studied graphic design & art at the Musashino Art University.  Working with paper came naturally to Echiko. Some of the work was made with recycled material, she has also used newspaper, notebook pages and craft paper, not Japanese washi paper only.  Echiko transforms also used paper bags, found cardboard, thread and nails...  bringing them a second life exquisitely with her perseverance practice. Numerous key galleries and museums such as Craft Contemporary and the National museum of women in the art had featured Echiko Ohira's works. 


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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