Andrew Ooi


Andrew Ooi's art is about making sense of the world. It is about arranging the disparate shapes and elements. He perceives environments, histories, geographies, art, artistry and human nature to be made up into tangible systems and forms. It is about occupying these realities, ideas, and interests in feeling and being, to allow meaning and its' significance in the long view, to develop slowly. The gradual understanding is determined through an unconventional approach of common mediums, techniques, and design. Handmade gampi papers, produced by the few traditionally- skilled Japanese paper makers remaining, are used to make his two-dimensional sculptures and three-dimensional paintings. From large sheets, Ooi cuts hundreds to thousands of strips to form the artworks inspired by Japanese joinery and origami. He individually creases, unfolds, paints, and re-folds each piece of paper by hand before assembly. Using acrylics and inks, Ooi combines color, pattern, and shape with circles, squares, and triangles to create an order as natural, primitive, and in line with, ages and civilizations well before him. Geometries rooted in nature, but meant to be exploratory and story-telling; with intentional asymmetries and inconsistencies respecting life’s mystery. And what better to answer the question of life’s mystery but time? The time for precious papers nearing extinction to be made? For matter to be considered from all angles? Welcome accidents, new information, innovation, meditation to transpire? Time is the greatest service someone can do for another; one Ooi hopes he imparts with his art.

Ooi (b.1979) is a Canadian visual artist transposing painting with sculpture to discover novel approaches toward perspective, art, craft, and his favorite medium, paper. Self-taught in Japanese joinery and origami, he began his career in the interior design community where his light works quickly received international attention. From his successive publication in 1,000 Product Designs: Form, Function, and Technology from Around the World (Rockport Publishers) and Illuminate: Contemporary Craft Lighting (Bloomsbury Publishing), Ooi was inspired to pursue the pure arts in a direction never before realized. This led Ooi to invent his pieced-paintings technique, singular to him. Today, Ooi’s work enjoys recognition in various press (Pittsburgh City Paper, 2016), grants (Ontario Arts Council), exhibitions (Anatomy of Resilience, Karsh-Masson Gallery, 2017), fairs (Aqua Art Miami) and collections (Global Affairs Canada).

portfolio.jpg View images from Andrew Ooi's 2022 exhibition, Without Interrupting the System.