Tanilla Tanilla Tanilla

Otani Workshop

January 12 – February 24, 2024
Opening hours:11:00〜19:00
Closed: Sunday, Monday

©2022 Otani Workshop/Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved.


Kaikai Kiki Gallery is pleased to present “Tanilla Tanilla Tanilla”, the first solo exhibition of works by Otani Workshop at Kaikai Kiki in around 7 years, starting January 12, 2024.

Otani studied sculpture at an art university and for a time worked in a collaborative studio in Shigaraki, an area in Japan known for ceramics production. He now creates his work in an enormous studio, a converted former Japanese tile factory, on Awaji Island.

When he was a student, Otani took a leave of absence from school in order to tour museums, shrines, and Buddhist temples in various regions of the country by truck. He was strongly moved by man-made objects, regardless of whether they were works of fine arts or crafts. He started creating artworks under the professional name Otani Workshop with the desire to create works for a wide range of audience rather than just for art specialists. His works range from sculptures made with ceramic techniques to bronze and FRP sculptures, as well as paintings. The common thread that runs through all of his works is the solid, tactile images that take shape through all mediums.

©2023 Otani Workshop/Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

Otani held his first exhibition at Kaikai Kiki Gallery back in 2016 titled “When I Was Seventeen, I Learned About Giacometti from My Art Teacher and Became Drawn to Sculpture—and So I Make Sculptures Now.” featuring ceramic sculptures arranged as an installation in the gallery space. The exhibition led to the publication of his first book of paintings, which took several years to complete and included paintings that he had began working on around the time.
Since then, Otani has held a series of exhibitions around the world, including in Paris, New York, Shanghai, Seoul, and Hong Kong. His paintings, which he used to produce with as sense of unfamiliarity, have since evolved rapidly in size, expression, and motifs.

The theme of this exhibition is the artist‘s original character, Tanilla, a monster with fins and fangs. The origin of the name Tanilla derives from “tani” in “Otani” and ”lla” in “Godzilla.” Otani’s parents bought him a copy of Kunihiko Hisa’s illustrated book of dinosaurs when they visited a dinosaur exhibit at a museum of natural history when he was a child, and he read and reread it for a long time. When he later went on to study sculpture, he says, Tanilla suddenly emerged while he was searching for forms within the clay. Tanilla has since become one of the iconic characters created by the artist, being sculpted as a soft vinyl figurine at Kaikai Kiki’s studio and making appearances in paintings, ceramics, and as bronze and FRP edition sculptures. In this exhibition, the the character will also appear in a variety of forms, from large paintings to adorable ceramic sculptures. What kind of Tanilla might you encounter? Please find out in person.

©2023 Otani Workshop/Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

Otani Workshop is also currently holding “Portraits”, a solo exhibition of new works, at Perrotin Gallery in Hong Kong. The exhibition is scheduled to run until February 17, 2024. This is the first exhibition in his career to focus solely on painting. Please have a look together with his solo exhibition at Kaikai Kiki Gallery.

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