The HIRAKU Project is a series of exhibitions showcasing contemporary artworks by recipients of the Pola Art Foundation Grant for Emerging Artists. In the 15th exhibition in the series, we are pleased to present works by Yasuaki Onishi, who takes a sculptural approach to space in numerous large-scale installations which he has presented both in Japan and abroad.


Onishi studied sculpture at university, and through his experience with making molds, became interested in relationships between positive forms and negative space and in grasping not only objects themselves but also their surroundings. His works have consistently dealt with the themes of margins, voids, volumes and boundaries.


This exhibition features new works made with copper foil, a material Onishi has utilized extensively in recent years. Copper foil plays crucial roles inside countless electronic devices, yet people rarely see it and most are barely aware of its existence. Onishi removes copper foil from the context of its functional underpinning of our daily lives, shapes it by hammering it over river stones, and subsequently assembles it in large-scale installations.


The surfaces of innumerable stones that traverse the earth’s surface over millennia have undergone physical loss through wear and erosion, but have conversely accrued unimaginable spans of time and come to embody the collective memory of our planet. Through the process of mold-making, Onishi’s copper foil works reveal this interplay of absence and presence and imply that perceiving things requires more than knowing their surfaces––it also requires applying the full richness of our imaginations, and we must acknowledge that even then we will never achieve full understanding.


Onishi’s focus on the absent and the invisible aids us in applying a freer and more flexible sensibility to our grasp of this endlessly complex and diverse world.

Yasuaki Onishi


Born in Osaka, Japan in 1979, Yasuaki Onishi currently lives and works in Osaka. After earning a B.A. in Sculpture at the School of Art & Design, University of Tsukuba in 2001, he completed the M.A. program in Sculpture at the Graduate School of Art, Kyoto City University of Arts in 2004. In fiscal 2011, he received the Pola Art Foundation Grant for Emerging Artists and studied in the UK.


Selected recent solo exhibitions include: Permeating Landscape, Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art (Las Vegas, USA, 2019); reverse of volume, Mary Elizabeth Dee Shaw Gallery, Kimball Visual Arts Center at Weber State University (Ogden, USA, 2019); and Hidden Landscapes: Yasuaki Onishi, Coconino Center for the Arts (Flagstaff, USA, 2018).


Selected group exhibitions include: Taoyuan Land Art Festival (Longtan Sports Park, Taoyuan, Taiwan, 2023); Schlossmediale (Schloss Werdenberg, Glarus, Switzerland, 2023); Tracing the Boundaries: Stone, Breathing, and Land Reclamation (Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, Fukuoka, Japan, 2022); and ART OSAKA 2022 Expanded (Creative Center Osaka, Japan, 2022).

Photo: Minako Yoshida

Yasuaki Onishi × Fukuda Metal Foil & Powder Co., Ltd.

Stone and Fence, 2022

Installation view: KYOTO STEAM 2022 International Art Competition, Kyoto City KYOCERA Museum of Art, 2022

Stone on Boundary The Muromi River, 2022

Installation view: Tracing the Boundaries-Stone, Breathing, and Land Reclamation, Fukuoka Asian Art
Museum, 2022

Stone on Boundary Osaka, 2022

Installation view: ART OSAKA 2022 Expanded, Creative Center OSAKA, 2022

stacking emptiness, 2023,

Installation view: Taoyuan Land Art Festival, Longtan Sports Park, Taoyuan, Taiwan, 2023

Distance between presence and absence Werdenberg, 2023

Installation view: SCHLOSSMEDIALE, Schloss Werdenberg, Grabs, Switzerland, 2023

Distance between presence and absence, 2020

Installation view: Takamatsu Contemporary Art Annual vol. 09, Takamatsu Art Museum

Photo: Nobutada Omote Courtesy: Takamatsu Art Museum, 2020

HIRAKU Project Vol. 15

Yasuaki Onishi

Stone on Boundary


Sat., December 16, 2023 – Sun., May 19, 2024


Atrium Gallery, Pola Museum of Art




Pola Museum of Art, Pola Art Foundation


Fukuda Metal Foil & Powder Co.,Ltd., ARTCOURT Gallery