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Ryoko Aoki and Zon Ito

7th September –
22nd November 2018

PV and Reception:
6th September
6pm-9pm

Yamamoto Keiko Rochaix is pleased to announce a joint exhibition by contemporary Japanese artists Ryoko Aoki and Zon Ito.


The two independent artists started collaborating in 2000, and their works will be exhibited together for the first time in London. Curated by Hikotaro Kanehira, the exhibition will comprise works recently created in their Kyoto studios as well as those produced within the gallery space for the duration of August. The poetic show will centre around paintings, embroidery, small objects and video installations with the artists incorporating found objects from various London locations.


Image: Installation view, ‘Ways of Worldmaking’, Ryoko Aoki and Zon Ito, The National Museum of Art, Osaka (2011)

About the exhibition

The artists' works have references from both traditional and contemporary Japanese culture. Geometric forms and vibrant colours are recurring themes in Aoki’s work. The artist is often inspired by the natural world, plants and animals as well as depicting fragments of everyday life. Installation is an essential part of her work, which is tailored by each exhibition so that the drawings and other media come together to form a collection. Her body of work often consists of things beyond her own creations, such as found objects or works by other people that interest her, which when brought together, adopt a greater meaning.


Ito creates using a range of media, resulting in embroidered drawings, modelling pictures, or hand-made cord drawings. The artist's choice of hard-to-manipulate media means he can never entirely be in control of his creative process, and the end result is not always what he would have expected originally. The rough, energetic lines flow from paper to fabric to screen with engaging sensitivity, infusing into the body of work a sense of serenity in which time appears to be suspended.


The two artists’ works fuse and produce synergy with depth and complexity. The exhibition will touch on the issues of psychological development and the character-building process of young children, making quiet reference and homage to the child psychology analysis based on the essays by Kiyoshi Oka, a well-known Japanese mathematician.


Courtesy of Taka Ishii Gallery and Take Ninagawa.


Ryoko Aoki, born in Hyogo in 1973, received an MFA in visual design from Kyoto University of Fine Art in 1999. Selected solo exhibitions include ‘Notebook forgotten at three Party Meeting’, Take Ninagawa, Tokyo (2018), ‘Green Pocket’, Take Ninagawa, Tokyo (2011), ‘Seeds of Wild Flower’, On Sundays, Tokyo (2010), ‘Hammer Projects: Ryoko Aoki’, The Armand Hammer Museum of Art and Culture Center at UCLA, Los Angeles, (2005). Selected group exhibitions include ‘Collection - Contemporary Landscapes’, Natonal Museum of Art, Osaka (2017), ‘Tsubaki-kai’, Shiseido Gallery, Tokyo (annually from 2013 to 2017), ‘LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION’, Marc Foxx Galley, Los Angeles (2016), ‘documents 12’, Kassel (2007). Aoki’s work can be found in the public collections at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, National Museum of Art, Osaka, Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo, Tokyo, among others.


Zon Ito, born in Osaka in 1971, graduated from Kyoto City University of Arts in 1996. Selected recent solo exhibitions include ‘The Strange Moves that We Make’, Taka Ishii Gallery, Tokyo (2016), Galerie Michael Werner, Trebbin, Germany (2016). Selected group shows include ‘Japanorama. A new vision on art since 1970’, Centre Pompidou-Metz, Metz, France (2017), ‘Asia Corridor Contemporary Art Exhibition’, Nijo Castle (Nijojo), Kyoto Art Center, Kyoto (2017), ‘Tsubaki-kai’, Shiseido Gallery, Tokyo (annually from 2013 to 2017), ‘The State of this World : Thought and the Arts’, Ashiya City Museum of Art and History, Hyogo (2016), 'Primary Field II’, The Museum of Modern Art, Hayama (2010), ‘Louisa Bufardeci & Zon Ito’, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney (2009), ‘When Lives Become Form: Dialogue with The Future Brazil / Japan’, Museu de Arte Moderna de São Paulo (2008). Ito’s works are included in the public collections at Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo, The National Museum of Art, Osaka, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, among others.


Ryoko Aoki and Zon Ito have collaborated and exhibited in many institutions and art festivals including: ‘In Focus: Contemporary Japan’, Minneapolis Institue of Art, Minneapolis (2017), ‘Reborn Art Festival’, Ishinomaki, Miyagi (2017), ‘Fruitfulness’, Toyokawa City Sakuragaoka Museum, Aichi (2015), ‘TWO STICKS’, The Museum of Architecture, Wrocław (2015), ‘Re: Quest - Japanese Contemporary Art since the 1970s’, Museum of Art, Seoul National University, Seoul (2013). ‘Experimenta Speak to Me, 5th International Biennial of Media Art’, Project Space/Spare Room, Melbourne, Australia (2012), ‘The state one reaches by the age of 9, and the sunshine of those days’, Taka Ishii Gallery Kyoto (2011), ‘Ways of Worldmaking’, The National Museum of Art, Osaka (2011), ‘CAMP’, Konrad Fischer Galerie, Dusseldorf, Germany (2009), ‘FUSION: Architecture + Design in Japan’, The Israel Museum, Jerusalem (2004).


Hikotaro Kanehira is an independent curator based in Tokyo. Selected curated exhibitions and projects include ‘Jay Chung & Q Takeki Maeda’, statements, Tokyo (2017), ‘Troedsson Villa Mountain School 2016’, original concept by Tam Ochiai & Anne Eastman, statements, Tokyo (2016), ‘Nobuyoshi Araki: Love on the Left Eye’, co-curated with Toshi Shibata, Mitsubishi Artium, Fukuoka (2014), ‘Futoshi Miyagi: American Boyfriend’ (2013- ongoing), ‘Takashi Homma: New Documentary’, 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa / Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery / Marugame Genichiro-Inokuma Museum of Contemporary Art (2011-2012). Kanehira has curated and published artists’ books and zines as an independent publisher for the works of Yasuto Masumoto, Ryoko Aoki, Jay Chung & Q Takeki Maeda, Erika Kobayashi, Nobutaka Aozaki and Shimon Minamikawa.


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