Bryan Ohno Gallery

For a number of years this was the Bryan Ohno Gallery's website.
Content is from the site's 1999-2006 archived pages and other outside sources.

If you have inadvertanatly ended up here looking for the Bryan Ohno Gallery go to the gallery's current website at:




In 1999 Bryan Ohno wrote on the About page of this website:

When I drive through the streets of downtown Seattle, one of the public sculptures that consistently captures my attention is Isamu Noguchi's Landscape of Time at the Federal building on Second Avenue. It does not attract me because it's flashy--in fact many people barely notice it because it blends into the city environment so naturally. Once you encounter it, however, you are captured by the dichotomy of nature versus man made. Landscape of Time is a unique set of granite stones juxtaposed in an asymmetrical garden-like composition. This seemingly random composition draws you into the space, encouraging a type of dialogue. As I enter Landscape of Time, we seem to greet one another as old friends. For me, good sculpture invites you to participate in the space in which it exists.

For many years, sculpture functioned as statuary form--the perfect Greek body carved in marble or the bronze war hero proudly perched upon his horse. Today, sculpture has been incorporated into the vocabulary of contemporary art, yet we are still struggling with how to live with it. Because almost everyone grew up with some form of art on the walls of their home, paintings and prints are an acceptable art form. When it comes to three-dimensional sculpture, however, most of us panic. We seem to have difficulty finding space for it. Why is that? I think one has to make a conscious effort to create the necessary space it requires. That doesn't mean physically expanding our living space. There are wonderful ways it can be displayed--on the floor, on the wall, on the ceiling, or hanging in the middle of the space. Artists at my gallery are exploring new ideas about where sculpture fits into the individual's life. It is exciting to think of the many ways sculpture can be a participatory rather than an intruding element in space.

Dale Chihuly adopted this idea in the Chandelier Series. Through these new works, Chihuly has redefined the way sculpture functions in space. Chihuly once told me that the idea for these chandeliers came while in Spain at a small, old café. This restaurant had a chandelier hung right at eye level, not above as they traditionally are. What intrigued him was how a different hanging point could create such a personal interaction. It excited him so much that he decided to create hanging sculpture that embodied this concept for his Seattle Art Museum exhibition in 1992.

In my own way, I am working to encourage interaction between sculpture and the individual. Recently, I expanded the gallery's exhibit space by over 5000 square feet through the addition of a basement gallery. With the added space I am able to display a variety of sculptures in different mediums--wood, stone, metal, clay and glass.

The current exhibit has drawn some controversy because of the materials used in the huge paper mache sculptures gracing the outer lobby. Jason Tuu's work is known for the incredible textures he achieves - his secret, and the reason for the controversy, is toilet tissue. I discovered Jason when he was still working as a janitor at the Art Council. He had constructed elegant forms using products from the custodial closet. There was a gorgeous humming bird made from paper towels. After experimenting with all of the paper products, including paper dishes and towels, he settled on toilet tissue because of how easily it was to work with and the controlability of the material. If you didn't know this back story, the sculptures should look just as amazing, no? With this in mind, I welcome you to visit my new space.

- Bryan K. Ohno












To learn what is now happening at the Bryan Ohno Gallery go to:

Located at:
521 South Main Street, Seattle WA, 98104
Wednesday - Saturday   12 - 5pm and by appointment



More Background On The Bryan Ohno Gallery

Bryan Ohno Gallery: A Confluence of Art, Science, and Innovation


The Bryan Ohno Gallery, nestled in Seattle's International District, stands as a beacon of contemporary art that blurs the lines between art and science, challenging traditional art paradigms. Founded by Bryan Ohno, this gallery has a storied history of showcasing groundbreaking works that push boundaries and foster a deep connection between the viewer and the art. This article delves into the gallery's history, its mission, notable exhibitions, cultural and social significance, and its impact on the Seattle art scene, providing a comprehensive overview for art enthusiasts and casual visitors alike.

History and Founding

The Bryan Ohno Gallery opened its doors in 1996 in Pioneer Square, Seattle, before relocating to its current location at 521 South Main Street. Bryan Ohno, a visionary gallerist, previously ran C-2 Gallery in Tokyo from 1989 to 1991, where he represented blue-chip American artists like Andy Warhol and Robert Mapplethorpe. This experience laid the groundwork for his approach to art curation, emphasizing the relationship between art and science​.

After a brief hiatus from the gallery world, Ohno returned in 2013, driven by a passion for creating a space where contemporary art could thrive. His gallery quickly became known for its unique exhibitions that often featured themes of death, sexuality, and language, aiming to provoke thought and dialogue among its visitors​.

Mission and Vision

The gallery's mission is to create a valuable experience for visitors by fostering a space that encourages quiet reflection and conversation. Ohno believes in the power of art to complement scientific understanding and emphasizes the importance of art in social progress. This mission is reflected in the gallery's exhibitions, which often explore the intersection of art and science​​.

Ohno's commitment to his artists is also evident in his approach to gallery management. He regularly holds salon discussions with artists, providing a supportive environment for them to discuss their work and challenges. This practice underscores his belief in the importance of nurturing creative talent and fostering a collaborative art community​.

Notable Exhibitions and Projects

One of the gallery's significant contributions to the art world is its involvement in public and private art projects. For instance, the gallery represented Weyerhaeuser’s art collection for their new world headquarters and collaborated on the Spiral Art Project with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. These projects highlight the gallery's role in integrating art into broader social and corporate contexts​.

The gallery's exhibitions are known for their innovative and often provocative nature. A notable example is the display of Adrianne Smits' monumental triptychs, which feature landscapes overrun with stylized foliage, blending ecological data with artistic expression. Smits' work exemplifies the gallery's commitment to showcasing art that merges scientific inquiry with creative exploration​.

Impact on the Seattle Art Scene

The Bryan Ohno Gallery has played a pivotal role in revitalizing Seattle's art scene. Ohno's vision of transforming Main Street into a cultural destination has contributed to the area's growing reputation as a hub for contemporary art. The gallery's presence alongside other art spaces and design firms has created a vibrant arts community in the International District.

Ohno's influence extends beyond the gallery walls. Through his consulting firm, Urban Art Concept, he has worked on projects like Mad Homes, which involved transforming old houses into site-specific art installations. This project exemplifies Ohno's belief in the power of art to engage and transform public spaces, fostering a dialogue between artists and the community​​.

Visitor Experience and Reviews

Visitors to the Bryan Ohno Gallery can expect a thoughtfully curated experience that invites introspection and engagement. The gallery is praised for its clean, well-lit space that enhances the viewing experience. Reviews highlight the gallery's role as a gathering place for artists, enthusiasts, and collectors, fostering a sense of community and shared appreciation for contemporary art.

One visitor described the gallery as an "off the beaten path gem," noting its intimate atmosphere and the high quality of the art on display. Another review praised the gallery for its innovative exhibitions that challenge traditional art forms and encourage viewers to see the world from new perspectives.

Press and Media Coverage

The Bryan Ohno Gallery has received extensive media coverage over the years, highlighting its innovative exhibitions and impact on the art community. For instance, City Arts Magazine featured the gallery's reopening in 2013, noting its emphasis on the intersection of art and science and its role in revitalizing Seattle's International District​. The gallery's exhibitions have also been reviewed by The Monarch Review, which praised Ohno's commitment to fostering a supportive environment for artists and his innovative approach to gallery management​.

One of the gallery's notable exhibitions, "In LEGO, We Connect," received coverage from GeekWire and Board & Vellum, showcasing the gallery's willingness to take risks with unconventional art forms. This exhibition featured LEGO photography that blurred the lines between art and play, attracting a diverse audience and sparking conversations about the nature of creativity​.

Another significant project covered by the media was the Mad Homes project, organized by Urban Art Concept. This ambitious project transformed old houses slated for demolition into site-specific art installations, demonstrating the gallery's commitment to integrating art into urban spaces and fostering community engagement​.

Cultural and Social Significance

The Bryan Ohno Gallery's cultural and social significance is multifaceted. Firstly, the gallery has been instrumental in bridging the gap between art and science, highlighting the importance of interdisciplinary approaches to understanding and interpreting the world. This unique focus has attracted a diverse audience, including scientists, engineers, and tech professionals, who find inspiration in the gallery's innovative exhibitions​.

Secondly, the gallery has played a crucial role in revitalizing the International District, transforming it into a vibrant cultural hub. By collaborating with local artists, design firms, and other galleries, the Bryan Ohno Gallery has fostered a sense of community and contributed to the area's economic and cultural growth.

Furthermore, the gallery's commitment to public art projects has had a lasting impact on Seattle's urban landscape. Projects like Mad Homes and the Spiral Art Project demonstrate the gallery's belief in the power of art to engage the public and transform everyday spaces into sites of creativity and reflection. These initiatives have not only beautified the city but also encouraged residents and visitors to see their surroundings in new and imaginative ways​.

The gallery's emphasis on fostering a supportive environment for artists has also had a significant social impact. By providing a platform for emerging and established artists to showcase their work and engage with the public, the Bryan Ohno Gallery has contributed to the development of a vibrant and inclusive art community in Seattle​​.

Audience and Reach

The Bryan Ohno Gallery attracts a diverse audience that includes art collectors, enthusiasts, and those with an interest in the intersection of art and science. The gallery's innovative and interdisciplinary approach to exhibitions appeals to a broad demographic, from seasoned art collectors to young professionals in the tech industry. The gallery's strategic location in the International District, an area known for its cultural richness and artistic diversity, further enhances its appeal to both locals and tourists.

The gallery also engages with a global audience through its participation in international art fairs and exhibitions. By showcasing works that blend artistic creativity with scientific inquiry, the Bryan Ohno Gallery has established itself as a prominent player in the contemporary art world, attracting visitors and collectors from around the world.

Known For

The Bryan Ohno Gallery is renowned for several key aspects:

  1. Innovative Exhibitions: The gallery is known for its cutting-edge exhibitions that challenge traditional art forms and explore the intersection of art and science. Notable exhibitions include Adrianne Smits' triptychs and the "In LEGO, We Connect" show.
  2. Public Art Projects: The gallery's involvement in public and private art projects, such as the Spiral Art Project with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, highlights its role in integrating art into broader social contexts​.
  3. Fostering Art and Science Dialogue: Bryan Ohno's mission to emphasize the relationship between art and science is a defining feature of the gallery, setting it apart in the contemporary art world​.

The Bryan Ohno Gallery stands as a testament to the transformative power of art and its ability to bridge diverse fields of knowledge. Through its carefully curated exhibitions, public art projects, and commitment to fostering a creative community, the gallery continues to make a significant impact on the Seattle art scene. For those seeking a space where art and science converge to inspire and provoke, the Bryan Ohno Gallery offers an enriching and unforgettable experience.

In summary, the Bryan Ohno Gallery is not only a significant player in Seattle's art scene but also a driving force in promoting the integration of art and science. Its unique approach to curation, commitment to fostering artistic talent, and involvement in public art projects have cemented its reputation as a leading contemporary art gallery. Whether you are an art aficionado or a casual visitor, the Bryan Ohno Gallery offers a compelling and enriching experience that showcases the transformative power of art.