Tomomi Ono’s central theme which runs consistently throughout her work is that of human existence – and existence in general. While she has tackled that subject by focusing on the smallest forms of life in her earlier lithographs, the ‘seed series’, she shifts her focus to the immensity of the universe in the ‘sky series’.
Looking up at the distant stars in the sky on a clear night is breathtakingly spectacular, yet the sheer scale can be overwhelming. After all, the seemingly miniscule stars imply our even more miniscule existence as human beings in such a vast universe. Moreover, Ono contemplates the existence of the stars in the sky during the day. According to the artist, “the stars in the sky are not visible in the daylight but they exist all the time.”
And so, reflecting on the mystery of existence, she renders imaginary ‘sky-scapes’ on her stone. Ono’s exquisite execution and careful detail have earned her the reputation of master printmaker, and though she remains faithful to the traditional technique of stone lithography, she continually pushes its boundaries to fully express her ideas. She builds her lithographs layer upon layer, carefully and delicately, to achieve the sparkling starry night skies, and the even more delicate and subtle day skies. The drama of the night and day skies is amplified in six works where the artist successfully juxtaposes the day and night skies, side by side, under one frame. The larger works in this exhibition are composed of several parts, such as Milky Way II, which is a work in twelve parts – each of which is an individual multi layered monotype lithograph mounted on panel.
Tomomi Ono was born in 1968 in Osaka, Japan, where she studied traditional Japanese painting. After spending some time in Spain, she arrived in New York in 1993, where she studied lithography at The Art Students League. She currently lives and maintains a studio in Brooklyn, NY. Ono’s work has been exhibited in the US, East Asia and Europe. She is the recipient of numerous grants and awards, and her work is in prestigious private collections, as well as in major public collections, such as The New York Public Library.