Satoru Aoyama “News From Nowhere”

Mizuma Art Gallery - Ichigaya

poster for Satoru Aoyama “News From Nowhere”

Ends Today

Satoru Aoyama’s copiously prolific artistic activity has continued apace this year, including his participation in the group show “Escape from the Sea” in Kuala Lumpur, the Yokohama Triennale, and his two-person exhibition with musician Ken Ikeda at Mizuma Gallery, Singapore.

For this exhibition, Aoyama presents 30 new works in which he manipulates 19th-century vintage prints from Victorian Britain, applying to them elements of collage, drawing and sewing machine-rendered embroidery. Contemporary female figures whose work traverses the fields of fashion or pop culture seem to have passed through a time-warp, their chronological context changing to the 19th century as they appear within the prints. For Aoyama, who originally studied textile arts with a partial focus upon gender studies, this theme is one that has been developing within his practice over many years.

The exhibition title, “News From Nowhere,” is taken from the title of a novel written in 1890 by the artist and poet William Morris. This book, within which the narrating “I” is transported in time from the 19th to the 22nd century, at a glance seems like a bizarre vision of the future as a pastoral utopia, yet it also enabled Morris to express his own critique, as an active Socialist, of modernization’s transformation of the world into a capitalist society.

“I began to wonder if perhaps, the future we once imagined and depicted had slipped out of its orbit,”, Aoyama recently stated. “Lying ahead of some such slipped orbit in which reality - natural environments, society, politics, disputes and so forth - has been distorted, as written in Morris’ “News From Nowhere,” perhaps there exists something overlapping with a future in which the Middle Ages is praised as a utopia. But perhaps that itself actually reveals the paper-thin difference between utopia and dystopia. And then perhaps, precisely in our contemporary world which seems to be retreating backwards more than it is progressing toward the future, we are already within the vortex of a dystopia.”

At the foundation of these alluring portraits of pop icons thus lies Aoyama’s critical percipience of both our world today and the future that lies ahead of it. On show at the same time as this exhibition in his presentation at the Yokohama Triennale 2017. There Aoyama presents artwork in the form of a personal history, featuring his own grandfather who was a painter. The work, also entitled “New From Nowhere” is even more deeply engaged with imaging political concerns.



from September 20, 2017 at 18:00 to October 21, 2017

Opening Reception on 2017-09-20 from 18:00 to 20:00


Satoru Aoyama



Venue Hours

From 11:00 To 19:00
Closed on Mondays, Sundays, Holidays


Address: Kagura Bldg. 2F, 3-13 Ichigayatamachi, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 162-0843

5 minutes walk from exit 5 at Ichigaya Station on the Yurakucho and Namboku lines, 8 minutes walk from the West exit of JR Iidabashi Station, 8 minutes walk from exit B2a at Iidabashi Station on the Tozai, Yurakucho and Namboku lines.

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