For his latest immersive installation, Oscar Oiwa created a 360-degree black and white drawing that fills the space of an inflatable vinyl balloon. The work, Oscar Oiwa in Paradise – Drawing the Ephemeral, took Oiwa and his five assistants two weeks and 120 marker pens to create. Visitors are invited to enter the encapsulating drawing to fully experience Oiwa’s imagined environment, which is composed of dark patches of forest, winding pathways, and a sky filled with high-contrast swirls.
“I’ve always enjoyed drawing, which I consider the most basic way of expressing myself visually,” said Oiwa in a press release regarding the large-scale work. “A pencil and a blank sheet— there is no simpler medium than that.”
Oscar Oiwa is a painter who was born in Brazil, son of Japanese immigrants. He received his B.F.A. (1989) from the School of Architecture and Urbanism, São Paulo University. Oiwa was influenced by comic books, art, and magazines throughout his youth, as well as the urban environment of his birthplace. He experienced contemporary art during this time in nearby galleries and became an assistant at the São Paulo Art Biennial. Oiwa held his first solo exhibition while he was still in college and thereafter participated in the 21st São Paulo Art Biennial (1991).
He currently lives and works in New York City, though his artwork has been exhibited worldwide. He has had over 60 solo exhibitions since 1990, including Arizona State University Art Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo, Fukushima Prefectural Museum of Art, Takamatsu City Museum and Museu Nacional de Belas Artes in Rio de Janeiro.
Selected public collections: The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo (Tokyo), Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo (Tokyo), Mori Art Museum (Tokyo), Yokohama Museum of Art (Kanagawa), Toyota Municipal Museum(Aichi), Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art(Hiroshima), Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art(Hyogo), 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa(Ishikawa), Utsunomiya Museum of Art (Tochigi), Phoenix Museum of Art(Arizona), Arizona State University Art Museum (Arizona), Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, University of São Paulo Museum of Contemporary Art (USP).
Represented Gallery: Art Front Gallery (Tokyo), Tokyo Gallery+BTAP (Tokyo, Beijing), Gallery Caption (Gifu), Keumsan Gallery(Seoul), Connoisseur Contemporary (Hong Kong). He has received several awards including Pollock-Krasner Foundation grants, John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship (2001) and Asian Cultural Council in 2002.
The exhibition is presented at JAPAN HOUSE São Paulo, a venue that showcases traditional Japanese culture through a modern lens. Drawing the Ephemeral runs through June 3, 2018. You can watch the making of the massive drawing in the short video below.