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Murrine con Polvere vase

Ohira, Yoichi (Japanese, b. 1946)

Livio Serena (Italian, b. 1942)


Medium glass, blown, with murrine and powder Measurements H: 6 1/4 x W: 5 7/8 x D: 6 in. (15.88 x 14.92 x 15.24 cm) Credit Harlan E. Youel Bequest Fund Accession Number 2001.16.2 Location Museum of Art Lobby

Artist Bio

Always drawn to glass, Ohira started his studies as a fashion designer because his parents owned a fashion company. He soon realized fashion was not for him and he became focused on working with glass. After his fashion studies in 1969 he joined a glass company as an apprentice glassblower. After seeing a television program on Murano and doing some research on Italian glass, he decided that he must go to Italy. He arrived in Venice in 1973 and immediately enrolled in the sculpture course at the Academy of Fine Arts where he studied for five years, although during that time he worked with the Egidio Constantini’s Fucina delgi Angeli which focused on glass sculpture. He also started to study the aesthetics and history of Murano glass. He realized that he was not cut out to be a glass maestro and that his real interest was blown glass in the typical Murano tradition rather than solid sculptures. In the 1987 he designed a large collection of bottles for Vetreria de Majo and continued t work with them as a designer for several years. In the early 1990s he started to make his own one-of-a-kind works in collaboration with Venetian glass maestros and showed these works to great critical acclaim almost immediately. In 1996 he participated in the first international glass exhibition held in Venice, Venezia Aperto Vetro. In 1998 he had a solo exhibition at the Correr Museum in Venice and in 2000 his first one-man exhibition at the Barry Friedman Gallery in New York. His work is now in many public and private collections around the world.

Ohira works extremely closely with the masters who interpret his designs and he feels very strongly that they are a critical part of the creative process so the work is not only signed by him but the glass maestros involved. The masters on this vase were glass blower Andrea Zilio and cold worker Giacomo Barbini—the same masters who worked with Christiano Bianchin on his Crisaliforme series.