“Tori Tori”

とりとり Tori-Tori 2008 
woods h.65.0 × w.109.0 × d.56.0 cm ©Rieko Otake


Rieko Otake fashions sculptures from camphor wood and leaves them unpainted.
“Yumemushi”, her series of works that is reminiscent of Buddhist statues, features girls with delicate features in various poses. “I’m interested in the obscure and abnormal, the things that are not normal” Otake said. Although they are based on human form, I endeavor to craft figures that will surpass individual personality and leave the permanence of humanity behind. Despite their delicate appearance, Otake’s works harbor a strength that sincerely reflects her passion for sculpture as a form of expression.


“Tori Tori” is a play on words; in Japanese, it evokes images of birds that have just taken flight and opens the door to Otake’s free world. With wings spread wide, the birds barely conceal the figures crouching on top. This exhibition is scheduled to include 6~7 works.

Artist Biography

Rieko Otake was born in 1978 in Kanagawa prefecture.
She graduated from the Sculpture Department of Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music in 2002 and received her Master’s in 2002. She recently completed her PhD in 2007.
Her accomplishments over the years have included the Sugawara Prize in 2002 and 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 Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music in 2007 at the exhibition “Sculpture from Stories.” This marks her first exhibition at Tomio Koyama Gallery.

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.

  • とりとり Tori-Tori 2008 
woods h.125 × w.22.5 × d.15 cm ©Rieko Otake
  • とりとり Tori-Tori 2008 
woods h.20 × w.11.3 × d.10.5 cm ©Rieko Otake
  • とりとり Tori-Tori 2008 woods h.39.0 × w.91.0 × d.15.0 cm ©Rieko Otake
  • Installation view from "Tori-Tori" at Tomio Koyama Gallery, Tokyo, Japan, 2008 ©Rieko Otake