Yumiko Omori

Article Bio Works Projects
everyday life, transformation
Visual Arts (installation art, object, sculpture)
Asia, Eastern
created on:
August 23, 2003
last changed on:
Please note: This page has not been updated since February 18, 2004. We decided to keep it online because we think the information is still valuable.
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Relocating the Material World

Yumiko Omori is a visual artist who works with collections of objects. Central to her practice is a concern for the nature of substances that compose the material world. In her works, she rescues often forgotten objects and, by arranging them with other objects, injects them with new life.
Yumiko Omori collects objects which she encounters in her daily life. Her work has developed from a keen sensitivity towards the diversity of the substances that compose the material world around us, and which we throughout our lives, trample over with little regard. The objects that attract her particularly are those that have been forgotten or discarded and which have quietly lost their value.

Omori makes no distinction between natural and man-made materials: coral, gauze, Mercurochrome, rubber and seeds have all attracted her attention. Though inclusiveness is inherent within this method of collection, Omori seeks what Martin Barlow, director of Oriel Mostyn gallery in Wales, UK calls ‘the perfect crystallisation of the material glance’ but rarely experiences it in its pure form. It is therefore through the arrangement of these objects that Omori completes her work for, through this process the fragments obtain, as Barlow points out, ‘a value equal to new’ and are thus able to constitute a new ‘world’. Omori herself explains, ‘Each field is its own world. By arranging many fields, objects receive a new “glance” and gain pure value, and start to exist as a “material glance”.

Her work, entitled ‘Material Glance’ (1995–2001) is a changing collection of objects, in which newly collected materials are constantly added to existing ones. As such, the display varies each time it is shown and each showing is unique.

In 2001, Omori was invited to participate in ‘New Space’, an exhibition supported by Visiting Arts and curated by Reiko Aoyagi, a noted Japanese artist living in Wales and Martin Barlow. While the project’s ambitious remit opened up an exploration of the new possibilities of spatial experience fostered by today’s global technologies and the daily movement of people and goods across the world, Omori responded with a modest reconception of space. In ‘Material Chart’ (2001), she displayed latex rubber sheets, allowing the extraordinary nature of the material to be felt. She had planned on following her favoured practice of painting the sheets with Mercurochorme, a liquid substance widely used in Japan as antiseptic. This would have given the rubber a highly distinctive red translucence. On encountering the latex however, Omori reacted to the size of the sheets, their natural colour and smooth texture. Finding them perfect, she decided to use them as they were, extending her philosophy of treating her materials with respect rather than imposing upon them an over-manipulated or artificial form.

Sources include text by Martin Barlow, director of Oriel Mostyn gallery.


Yumiko Omori was born in 1962 in Tokyo where she still lives and works. She has exhibited in the UK and in Japan.



Exhibition / Installation,
2001 ‘New Space’, part of Japan 2001, Oriel Mostyn Gallery, Llandudno and Glynn Vivian Art Gallery, Swansea 2000 ‘Material Glance’ as part of a group exhibition at Fukuoka Art Museum 1996 ‘Protean Artists of the Times’, National Museum of Art, Osaka


This artist took part in the following project(s) organized/funded by the culturebase.net partner institutions.

New Space

(04 July 03 - 04 July 05)