Tsugumi Ota

Tsugumi Ota (b. 1951) was born in Japan and studied sculpture at the Central School of Art and Design in London. Her practice includes drawing, stone and marble sculpture and her signature black-and-white woodcuts, which are inspired by traditional Japanese woodcutting.

Ota’s works are often based on well-known myths and Biblical stories, such as Pygmalion and Adam and Eve. ‘The Indian Ocean’ (1987) depicts a group of people fishing in the ocean. The fish, which are foregrounded and more detailed than the human figures, are the work’s focal point. Though reminiscent of a Biblical scene, the men’s T-shirts and the women’s ponytails are a hint that the work portrays contemporary reality.