Ofer Grunwald

Ofer Grunwald (b. 1980, living and working in Brussels and Jerusalem) is a self-taught multidisciplinary artist, working mainly in mixed-media installation and figurative sculpture. His work is informed by his background as a world-leading bonsai artist, and driven by a fascination with processes (whether personal, social, cultural, technical, or artistic) and the tension between the dynamic and the seemingly static.

 

Ofer’s installation pieces, which have become his main practice, emanate from various deeply-ingrained traditions that have served as a formative backdrop for him, personally. These can be cultural traditions, religious traditions, artistic traditions, etc. His work tends to turn a critical, but ultimately compassionate eye on these traditions. By rendering them contemporary and dynamic, Ofer highlights the dissonance between tradition as a static object, and the dynamics of the society that practices that tradition.

 

Ofer has exhibited both locally and internationally in such exhibitions as Disconnected Medium (Hassid Gallery, Jerusalem, 2016), Vessels (Jerusalem Biennale, 2017), Hybrid Botany (Benyamini Center, 2018), Heterotopeum (Canberra, Australia, 2018), Illusion of Motion (Jerusalem, 2019), Monoculture (Tel Aviv, 2020), and built a temporary public installation in Canberra, Australia commissioned during his 1-month visiting artist residency at the Australian National University’s School of Art and Design.

Solo exhibitions:

2020 - Monoculture, Architects’ House Gallery, Tel Aviv, Israel (upcoming)

2020 - Internet of Things, Jerusalem, Israel (upcoming)

2018 - Inundation, Art Not Apart, Canberra, Australia

2018 - Heterotopium, National Arboretum Canberra, Australia

2017 - Vessels, Jerusalem Biennale, Israel

Group exhibitions:

2019 - Hamekarer 2019, Hamekarer, Tel Aviv, Israel

2019 - In the East, Cymbalista Jewish Heritage Center, Tel Aviv, Israel

2018 - Hybrid Botany, Benyamini Contemporary Ceramics Center, Tel Aviv,

          Israel

2016 - Disconnected Medium , Hassid Gallery, Jerusalem, Israel

Residencies:

2018 - Australia National University School of Art and Design Visiting Artist

          Residency, Canberra, Australia

Selected demonstrations and additional exhibitions (bonsai):

  • Demonstrator and speaker at the 2016 Bonsai Without Borders Conference, focusing on artistic innovation in bonsai (China, 2016).

  • Headline artist in Bonsai Europa, one of the largest and most important bonsai exhibitions in Europe (England, 2015).

  • Botanical Gardens Bonsai Award and Conference – Establishing, producing and running Israel’s national bonsai exhibition, held annually in Jerusalem (2011-2018).

  • Demonstration and exhibition as part of the Japanese Embassy’s in Jerusalem (Israel, 2014).

  • Demonstrator and exhibitor in Progetto Futuro’s annual exhibitions (Italy, 2009, 2010, 2012).

  • Numerous private and public collections in Israel and abroad.

 

Selected lectures:

  • Artist talk at the Australia National University School of Art and Design (Australia, 2018).

  • Bonsai – On the Challenges and Opportunities of Working with Living Media. Talk at the Bezalel MDes Industrial Design program (Israel, 2017)

  • Traditional Japanese Art and Contemporary Artistic Practice. Talk at Artport Tel Aviv (Israel, 2016)

  • Ripples and Waves – On the Unexpected Outcomes of International Collaboration. Talk at the American Public Gardens Association annual conference’s International Session (USA, 2015).

  • Bonsai – From Ancient Tradition to Modern Art. Talk for an arts-focused NGO event (USA, 2015).

  • Talk at the 200Below arts and culture event (Israel, 2014).

  • Special guest speaker at the Japanese Embassy in Israel’s Friday lecture series (Israel, 2014).

  • Guest speaker at the prestigious Pecha Kucha cutting-edge arts event in Tel Aviv (Israel, 2012).

 

Publications:

  • The series included in the catalog ‘The Jerusalem Biennale 2017’, published in 2018, ISBN 978-965-572-550-6

  • Regular contributor to , the leading bonsai publication outside Japan.

  • Guest article in , the leading bonsai publication in Eastern Europe.

 

Selected press:

© 2019 by Ofer Grunwald

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