Yasuko Toyoshima “The Domain Based on Assumption and What Lies Beyond”

Maki Fine Arts

poster for Yasuko Toyoshima “The Domain Based on Assumption and What Lies Beyond”
[Image: Yasuko Toyoshima The Copernican Theory_2020_1 2020 Wood, natural paint, bolt and nut, flat washer 18×15×4 cm]

Ends in 21 days

In the 1990s, Toyoshima chose everyday items like test answer sheets, rulers, and pencils as subject matter. Adding a touch of humor, she cleverly diverged the function and meaning of each item from its original. In her “Fill in the blank” series (1989-1990), entire surfaces of multiple-choice-test answer sheets were filled black except for the answer bubbles. For her “Ruler” series (1996-1999), rulers and protractors were heated in a toaster oven, then twisted and distorted into various shapes. In her “PENCIL” series (1996-1999), pencils were sharpened in the middle instead of the ends, exposing the leads at the center of the pencil.

Other series, such as “Mini Investment,” “Open Bank Account,” and “Transfer to my Account” (all ongoing since 1996), focused on the socioeconomic system. By exhibiting real stock certificates, bankbooks, and bank statements, Toyoshima transformed actions and processes into works of art and shed light on an individual’s existence inherent in specific rules and systems.

Toyoshima’s works have always been based on paradoxical views, embodying her own conflicts or a type of resistance that emerge when the internal part intersects with the rest of the domain.

Starting in the 2010s, Toyoshima’s pursuit began to shift from realistic processes to symbolic representation of patterns comprised of autonomous forms. In her “Panel” series (2013 onward), wood board pieces were placed on the back of panels to create geometric designs, shifting the viewer’s attention from the front surface of the work to the back. In her “Quadrilateral” series (2017 onward), the focus was on the relativity between support medium and design.

Toyoshima’s body of work continues to expand, and gallery visitors who have been anxiously waiting since her last solo show at Maki Fine Arts three years ago can now admire her new series “The Copernican Theory 2020.” Characterized by rotating circular wooden pieces, works in this series contain numerous unconventionally-shaped patterns and reference rotation and revolution mechanisms. Tinged with cryptic implications, these devices will demand the viewer’s attention.



from October 16, 2020 to November 15, 2020



Venue Hours

From 12:00 To 19:00
sundays closing at 17:00
Closed on Mondays, Tuesdays


Address: 1F, 5-1 Nishi Goken-cho, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 162-0812
Phone: 03-5579-2086

6 minute walk from exit 1 at Kagurazaka Station on the Tozai line, 7 minute walk from exit 4 at Edogawabashi Station on the Yurakucho line, 10 minute walk from exit A3 at Ushigome Kagurazaka Station on the Toei Oedo line.

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