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Ryoko Aoki and Zon Ito

Yamamoto Keiko Rochaix

Friday 7 September 2018 ‒ Thursday 22 November

Private View: Thursday 6 September 2018, 6-9pm

Yamamoto Keiko Rochaix has announced a joint exhibition by contemporary Japanese artist duo Ryoko Aoki and Zon Ito.

Zon Ito and Ryoko Aoki at Reborn Art Festival 2017

The two independent artists started collaborating in 2000, and this will be the first time they will exhibit London. Curated by Hikotaro Kanehira, the exhibition will comprise of 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.

Zon Ito and Ryoko Aoki at Reborn Art Festival 2017

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.


‘Ways of Worldmaking’, The National Museum of Art, Osaka (2011) Kazuo Fukunaga

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 originally expected. 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 reference to essays on child psychology analysis by Kiyoshi Oka, a well-known Japanese mathematician.

Ryoko Aoki and Zon Ito are available for interview and press are invited to visit them in the gallery during their residency.

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).

Courtesy of Taka Ishii Gallery and Take Ninagawa.

Ryoko Aoki (left) and Zon Ito (right) headshot

Yamamoto Keiko Rochaix is a contemporary art gallery in Spitalfields, East London that opened in January 2017. The gallery strives to express its ethos of light, space, ambiguity of reality and cultural and social identity through exhibitions by young and mid-career artists. While artists exhibited have come from all over the world, the gallery aims to have half of its yearly exhibition programme showing artists from Japan and other Asian countries.

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