あこがれ Longing 2009
 wood h.111.5 × w.20.0 × d.17.0 cm ©Rieko Otake


Rieko Otake creates wood sculpture mainly using camphor wood, and leaves them unpainted. Her works often look delicate and somehow unsettled, but also possess originality, strength, and great depth. Forms and textures of her sculptural works draw out mysteriousness from the materiality of a simple material such as wood, and imply stories with rich lyricism.
In the previous exhibition “Tori Tori” at Tomio Koyama Gallery last year, Otake presented the motif of bird, which she states that she will continue producing, along with her main motif of girl. These birds seem to fly with our imagination on their wings. By seeing them, we feel the sincerity of the artist toward wood sculpture as her expression, and also are tempted to imagine the ways in which the materiality turns into images with limitless possibilities.


Tomio Koyama Gallery Kyoto is pleased to present Rieko Otake’s solo exhibition “Dreamlike”, which mainly features 2 different sized sets of installations of large and small girls. The title “Dreamlike” denotes the world that can be seen only through the images and forms of her works, and it transcends the boundary between “dream” and “reality”. The exhibition includes 6 to 7 works of wood sculpture, mainly of camphor wood and some Japanese nutmeg wood.

Artist Biography

Rieko Otake was born in 1978 in Kanagawa prefecture. She graduated from the Sculpture Department of Tokyo University of the Arts in 2002, received her Master’s in 2002, and also completed her PhD in 2007. She currently lives and works in Kanagawa.
Her accomplishments over the years have included the nomination for the The 9th Taro Okamoto Memorial Award for Contemporary Art in 2005. Her works, along with those by Motohiko Odani and Koji Tanada, among others, were exhibited at The Chinretsukan Gallery of The University Art Museum, Tokyo University of the Arts in 2007 at the exhibition “Sculpture from Stories.” This year, her works were exhibited in the exhibition “SCULPTURE- Blues & Low Blow” at the same venue. This is the second solo exhibition at Tomio Koyama Gallery since last year.

Artist Profile

Rieko Otake

Rieko Otake’s woodcarvings express such motifs as young girls, birds and deer and even while her work looks somewhat delicate and unstable at times, one senses a unique strength in its universal presence replete with grace. Otake consistently uses the wood of camphor, cypress, and katsura trees, working within a method of adding finishing touches to a foundation of non-colored wood. Approaching closer the works, one becomes aware of an unexpected vigor to the chisel marks. She is affected by the importance of the rhythm of the repeated carving motions: a sincere process of exchange as if the tree and one’s breathing might become joined together, so that the artwork appears as story replete with lyricism.

Rieko Otake was born in 1978 in Kanagawa Prefecture. In 2004 she graduated from Tokyo University of the Arts’ Graduate School of Fine Arts, majoring in sculpture, and completed her PhD in 2007. Her works have been collected in the Takahashi and JAPIGOZZI Collections. As well as exhibiting in the show “As Long As Rainbow Lasts” (Soka Art Center, Taipei, 2011), she has also held four solo exhibitions at Tomio Koyama Gallery.

  • girl 2009 
wood h.185.0 × w.50.0 × d.83.0 cm 
©Rieko Otake
  • とりとり Tori Tori 2009
 wood h.42.0 × w.39.0 × d.45.0 cm ©Rieko Otake
  • Installation view from "Dreamlike" at Tomio Koyama Gallery Kyoto, Japan, 2009 ©Rieko Otake
  • Installation view from "Dreamlike" at Tomio Koyama Gallery Kyoto, Japan, 2009 ©Rieko Otake