Ellie Omiya “SACRED SPACE”

Dates: Dec 19, 2020 – Feb 6, 2021
[winter holidays: Dec 27, 2020 – Jan 11, 2021]
Location: Taka Ishii Gallery Photography / Film

The gallery will implement necessary measures to prevent coronavirus infections.

Taka Ishii Gallery Photography/Film is pleased to present “SACRED SPACE”, an exhibition of works by Ellie Omiya, from December 19 (Sat) to February 6 (Sat). This will be Omiya’s first solo exhibition with the gallery and it will feature new photographs shot at Suwa Taisha Shrine and Lake Toya, which she visited in search of tranquility amidst the pandemic, as well as various locations between 2012 and 2014.

Omiya, who works in various media including film, radio, and theater, began making fine art in 2012. She has staged numerous solo exhibitions designed to be completed by visitor participation, and gradually expanded her artistic practice by making paintings and mural works. She is primarily inspired by the earth and nature’s energy.

Suwa Taisha, one of Japan’s oldest Shinto shrines, is located near Lake Suwa, Nagano Prefecture. The shrine’s main building features a giant tree pillar called onbashira in each of its four corners. It is said that these trees protect the sangha within the shrine. Visiting the site, Omiya was driven to shoot the giant, formidable tree pillars, growing straight up to the heavens, as she was immediately drawn in by their sublime energy. The resulting photographs fully capture the presence of these subjects and not only convey the resilience of the trees, which have survived magnificently for so many years in the harsh natural world, but also provide a moving opportunity for viewers to reexamine and discover themselves in the face of nature.      

Simply looking at these photographs of sacred places brimming with mystic energy
May have mysterious results
Cells might regenerate
Ideas might occur
Immobile things may become mobile
Wishes may come true
Or other happy changes may occur.

My wish is that the photographs provide a calm and mystic moment.

Ellie Omiya
November 2020

 Ellie Omiya was born in 1975 in Osaka. She graduated from the University of Tokyo, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences. After working at an advertising agency, she achieved popularity for her essays about daily life. Besides her career as a writer, she works as a radio personality as well as a host of TV programs, a screenwriter and director. From 2012, she started holding interactive art exhibitions in which works are completed by viewer participation. She gradually expanded her art practice to include painting and photography. In 2017, her first solo photography exhibit “Spirit Charge” was held at CAPSULE/SUNDAY. In 2019, she went on to have solo exhibitions in Asia and Europe.
Omiya’s major solo exhibitions include “To Convey Emotions”, which was held at PARCO Museum (Tokyo, 2012) and traveled to Foil Gallery (Kyoto, 2012) and Sendai Mediatheque (Sendai, 2013); “Sincerely Yours” at Towada City Museum of Modern Art (Aomori, 2016); and Roppongi Hills A/D Gallery (Tokyo, 2020). 

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