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ZANMAI

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C O N T E M P O R A R Y 

N E T S U K E 


ONOSATO Zanmai

Tetsu Onosato, artist name Zanmai, was born in Taito-ku, Tokyo, in 1967 where he grew up in a family of antique dealers. During his childhood Japanese antiques and traditional culture became an integral part of his life. After restoring and trading antique chests and objects for several years, Zanmai started carving netsuke on his own. From 1993 to 1996 he studied at the Japan Ivory Sculptors Association (today the »Japan Hidariba Sculptors Association«) in Yanaka, Tokyo to foster his technical skills before starting his career as a netsuke carver. Zanmai’s broad range of subjects and styles encompasses not only motifs of the old Asakusa school, such as kappa, oni, daruma and the like, as well as animals and traditional themes, often expressed with a witty twist, but also ghosts, demons and mythical creatures derived from fairy-tales or his own imagination.  

Major Exhibits

2001 
Chiba City Museum of Art — Contemporary Netsuke from the Kinsey Collection Exhibit

2003
Tobacco and Salt Museum — Contemporary Netsuke/The Takamado Nomiya Collection Exhibit

2007
Museum of Art and Design — Contemporary Netsuke: Masterful Miniatures

2008
Osaka University of Arts, Hotarumachi Campus Gallery — Prince Takamado Netsuke Collection Exhibit

2012
Tokyo National Museum — 10th Anniversary Memorial of His Imperial Highness Prince Takamado: Netsuke: The Prince Takamado Collection
Academy Hills, Roppongi, Tokyo — Prince Takamado 10th Anniversary Commemorative Exhibit

2014
Paramita Museum, Mie — The Prince Takamado Netsuke Collection & Hisako, Princess Takamado Birds and Travel Photography Exhibit
Kure Municipal Museum of Art — The Prince Takamado Collection: Netsuke & Imperial Costume

2015
 Kyoto Seishu Netsukekan — Zanmai Netsuke Exhibition

2016
Tobacco & Salt Museum, Tokyo — The Beauty of Meticulous Craft - Netsuke and Sagemono

2017
Mitaka City Art Gallery — Netsuke - Plastic Art linking Edo Period with Modern Times

Group Shows

1995
Seibu Ikebukuro — New Works in Netsuke Carving (and in subsequent showings)

1997
Yokohama Takashimaya — Contemporary Netsuke Carving (and in subsequent showings)

1999
Sunamoto Ivory Shop, Ginza — Masterpieces of Contemporary Netsuke (through 2003)

2006
Gallery Hanakagesho, Nezu, Tokyo — Nezu Netsuke Carving

2007
Gallery Hanakagesho, Nezu, Tokyo — Nezu Netsuke Carving 2007

2008
Gallery Juan, Nishi-Ogikubo, Tokyo — Contemporary Netsuke: Beauty in the Palm of Your Hand in Juan

2011
Mitsukoshi Ginza — Descended from Edo: Papier-mâché and Contemporary Netsuke, the Ghosts of Ryo Arai

2012
Gallery Hanakagesho, Nezu, Tokyo — Neoclassical Netsuke 

Juried Shows

1995 
Japan Ivory Sculptors Association Prize, 18th Japan Ivory Carving Exhibit

1996
Homei Morimura Association Prize, 19th Japan Ivory Carving Exhibit

2000
Governor of Osaka’s Prize, 5th Japan Ivory Crafts Exhibit

Art Fairs

2011 
Spiral Gallery, Aoyama, Tokyo — ULTRA004/Gallery Hanakagesho

2012 
Spiral Gallery, Aoyama, Tokyo — ULTRA005/Gallery Hanakagesho

Other Activities

1999
Attended International Netsuke Society Convention, Chicago

2001
Attended International Netsuke Society Convention, Boston

2010
Created cellphone strap representing the character “Yanari” from the Shabake series (Megumi Hatanaka, author; Yu Shibata, illustrator; Shinchosha, publisher)

Memberships

International Netsuke Society

Articles and other Media Appearances

2002
Works and artist profiled in:
Daruma Japanese Art & Antiques Magazine, Issue 36

2006
Bien, vol. 38, special feature:
»You can touch and play! Netsuke and the wonder of the miniature world«
Roundtable with new netsuke artists at Gallery Hanakagesho
Appeared on the NHK television program Bi no Tsubo

2007
Works appeared in: Contemporary Netsuke: the H.I.H. Prince Takamado Collection. Hakuchosha

2008
Works appeared in: Netsuke: the H.I.H Prince Takamado Collection II. Shibunkaku
Works appeared in: Netsuke: Have Netsuke, Will Travel—H.I.H. Princess Takamado Contemporary Netsuke Collection. Kodansha

2010
Works and artist profiled in: ROKUSHO vol. 4: Netsuke Past & Present. Maria Shobo

2011
Netsuke: The Prince Takamado Collection. Tokyo National Museum
Appeared on: Adomachiku Tengoku: Sanya Namidabashi, TV Tokyo

2012
Studio profiled in Beautiful Things, Summer 2012
Works and artist profiled in: Eurasia, CIS Netsuke Society Journal, No. 4, Nov. 2012

2013
Artist profile in: Realitas Magazine (Japan), June 2013

2014
 Appeared on NHK television program »Bi no tsubo« in a special feature about cats (»neko zukushi«)

CONTACT & ENQUIRIES