AYAKO ROKKAKU
CLOSE TO YOUR TREASURE

LONG MUSEUM (WEST BUND), SHANGHAI, CHINA
27 MAY – 13 AUGUST 2023The first solo exhibition in China by Japanese artist Ayako Rokkaku, CLOSE TO YOUR TREASURE, is presented at the Gallery 2 of Long Museum West Bund. This momentous showcase spans over a decade of work, from 2006 to the present, with a display totaling more than 130 artworks by Rokkaku. Wide-eyed girls stand out in a vibrant world of colors, and the exhibition includes the artist's early doodles on corrugated paper in addition to her large-scale paintings. Additionally, the irregular canvas works, featuring the COSMOS IN BATTLE and FLOWER VASE series, created on traditional wooden embryos, represent the artist's first forays into the sculptural realm, using bronze as the material of choice.Inspired by Japanese Manga, Rokkaku's iconic portrayals of girls take center stage, adorned with their characteristic large eyes and exaggerated limbs. Her art pulsates with life, bursting forth in vibrant and fluorescent hues, transporting viewers to a realm of fashion, cuteness, and romantic fantasy. Renowned for her intuitive approach, Rokkaku casts aside planned sketches, painting instead with her hands, allowing her instinctual marks to create tactile impressions through her fingertips, conjuring wandering girls emerging from abstract landscapes, achieving a mesmerizing interplay between the characters and the overlapping colors that resonate deeply on an emotional level. As the girls command the viewers' attention, Rokkaku's undulating colors amplify their power, encapsulating the essence of persistence found in both constant evasion and relentless pursuit.The FLOWER VASE series points to another aspect of Rokkaku's artistic explorations as she paints on handcrafted wooden vases skillfully crafted by traditional artisans. The natural texture of the wood merges harmoniously with the carefree and vibrant girls depicted, creating a captivating 360-degree visual experience that draws viewers into a world of enchantment. In a groundbreaking debut at this exhibition, Rokkaku unveils her foray into the realm of bronze sculpture, marking a profound exploration of new artistic mediums. Since 2011, Rokkaku has embarked on a journey to transform her two-dimensional girls into beautiful 3D statues, collaborating with the prestigious National Art Center in Japan.

© Courtesy of GALLERY TARGET

FEATURED ARTIST

AYAKO ROKKAKU

Ayako Rokkaku (b. 1982 in Chiba, Japan) lives between Berlin, Porto, and Amsterdam. Rokkaku creates her paintings in an intuitive, performative act in which she applies the acrylic paint with her bare hands, transferring the movement of her body onto the canvas. The artist’s visual language oscillates between intangible abstract formations and figurative elements. It is clearly inspired by the style of kawaii culture and as rich and limitless as a child’s vivid imagination.

Ayako Rokkaku has had solo exhibitions at international institutions including Chiba Prefectural Museum of Art, Japan (2020); Museum Jan van der Togt, Amstelveen, ...
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