27-29 OCT 2023  DEA EAST

sky & earth

DEA EAST presents a stunning body of new work by unique and extraordinary Japanese ceramicist, Ricca Okano.

"I want to create works that project my daily emotions, in the flow and changes of water that circulates from rain to fog, to clouds, to sky and earth."

opening 5pm - 8pm | Fri 27 October 2023
on show Sat 28 - Sun 29 October 2023
online 10pm | Fri 27 October 2023

DEA EAST | 674 Bourke Street
Redfern NSW 2016

Ricca Okano is a Japanese artist and ceramicist, born in Tokyo and now based in Karuizawa, in a wild, mountainous and often snow covered region of Nagano Prefecture.

Her studio is surrounded by forest, its dramatic, ever changing landscape providing continual inspiration for her vibrant and wildly colourful works.




Ricca's aesthetic is instantly recognisable as one that extends beyond the boundaries of the ceramic object. Embracing a state of multiplicity, her pieces are both sculptural and illustrative, utilitarian and sublime, culminating in vibrant and explosive works that are driven by instinct and the desire to capture her natural environment.


Each moment is an autobiographical imprint of the artist, a deeply personal exploration of material, environment and the self. For Okano, ceramics are a way of navigating the changing of seasons, the unpredictability and force of weather, and the immediacy of emotions.

At times they seem to exist restlessly between these worlds: while their otherworldly presence resists the history of the vessel to which they are bound, they are also carefully constructed to be held and used, and offer themselves as such. 

Ricca grew up in semi-industrial downtown Tokyo where her family worked as shoemakers. From them she learned the creative satisfaction of craft, of turning leather into shoe, and the diligence of making one thing with sincerity. Later, this feeling would find full expression when working with clay, and the profound joy that comes from creating something from nothing is deeply imprinted in her.

Initially self taught, she later studied pottery at school, but avoided an apprenticeship, preferring not to become influenced too early on by another's work and process. Instead she refined her aesthetic sense at a distance through galleries and museums, and drew particular inspiration from the abstraction of Cy Twombly.

Her practice relies on experimentation and refinement, both in moulding and glazing, and she employs a small kiln for quick turn around of ideas. The final works arise both from a process of creative iteration, as well as the unexpected discoveries born out of failures.

She draws inspiration now from both the visible and invisible - from the abstract lines and colours that emerge from the unconscious, and the shifting colours and forms of the forest. 

"The landscape of the forest around my studio changes dramatically with the seasons - the softness of new shoots in spring, the fullness of life in the summer, the exciting shapes and colours of the mushrooms in fall, and the snowy fields of winter. And then there is the fog that seals the landscape in an instant."



Please join us at DEA EAST to experience this extraordinary body of work first hand.

Her new work will be launched at the opening on Friday evening, will remain on show over the weekend and be released online Sunday evening.





sky & earth

opening 5pm - 8pm | Fri 27 October 2023
on show Sat 28 - Sun 29 October 2023
online 10pm | Fri 27 October 2023

DEA EAST | 674 Bourke Street
Redfern NSW 2016


Also see our current selection of work by Ricca Okano, exclusively at DEA.

Read more about the artist.