Aiko Yuno “When I’m Small”

Narrative MARGUERITE 2021 spray, resin, acrylic on canvas 145.5 x 112.0 cm ©︎Aiko Yuno

While I had encountered Aiko Yuno’s work from time to time, what she exhibited at ANB in Roppongi had truly struck me. Rather than a mere attempt at depiction, it seemed like something was happening before my very eyes. Although the work had been conceived as a result of meticulous execution, it was a vividly raw and striking object, and the way in which it resonated both visually and tactilely was indeed a refreshing experience. I hope viewers will take this opportunity to enjoy the artist’s first solo exhibition at the gallery.   
Tomio Koyama


【Online Viewing】

Matterport by wonderstock_photo

Tomio Koyama Gallery is pleased to present “When I’m Small”, a solo exhibition with Aiko Yuno. This marks the artist’s first presentation with the gallery, and features a selection of approximately 15 three-dimensional and two-dimensional works.

Aiko Yuno was born in 1993 in Osaka. She completed an M.F.A in Mixed Media at Kyoto University of Art and Design in 2018. In 2017 she undertook a short-term exchange program at the Royal College of Art, London. In 2018 she participated in the Kuandu Residency Program, Kuandu Museum of Fine Arts, Taiwan. Her major awards include a selection for the 2017 Contemporary Art Foundation Award, and selection for the 2019 Gunma Biennale for Young Artists.

【Aiko Yuno’s Artistic Practice: Dreams for the future, the realities of adulthood, and whimsical discursiveness reflected through the movement of the materials. 】

“There are certain moments when things that once appeared large to me as a child come to feel small, and times in which the things I saw or the emotions I had felt back then are now seemingly lost or undergoing a state of change. In these instances, I always feel my childhood self to be right beside me, living today in fusion with the person who I had envisioned to become. I engage in interweaving an affectionate sense of loneliness, the unease and discomfort towards becoming an adult, as well as the difference between the dreams and aspirations for the future I had once imagined and the real world that I observe in my everyday life. As such, I try to convey the fleeting impulse of emotions like sadness, happiness, anger, and this imperfect world in which I live while drawing inspiration from my own childhood memories and experiences.”
(Akio Yuno)

One’s childhood dreams and hopes for the future, and the reality that is confronted when becoming an adult ?Yuno expresses the impulses caused by the discomfort, sadness, joy, and anger surrounding the discrepancies between the two by a diverse range of means including sculpture, installation, and painting. She uses various techniques and materials such as metal, resin, ceramics, and acrylic paint, and explores their characteristics thorough playful research and experimentation. The natural movements of the materials themselves, combined with the artist’s intentional manipulations in her work, appear to convey an unstable fluctuation of emotions.

In the “Narrative” series, the artist incorporates three-dimensional elements into the appearance of the paintings through making use of the way in which acrylic paint rises and forms a film-like layer when spray painted from above before drying, as well as the negative characteristic of resin not blending together with other materials. The glossy texture of the resin that bears similarities to the glimmering surface of water evokes both a sense of gravity and a stationery, quiescence moment of time.

Urethane foam, which is the material employed in the three-dimensional work “THE HOUSE”, generates bubbles when it comes into contact with air, and changes from liquid to solid. Making use of this chemical reaction, an array of colorful toys ooze and overflow from the house’s various orifices such as its doors and windows while changing their shape, the sculptural manifestation of which is further molded in bronze. It looks as if the house itself is trying to disgorge its insides, and at the same time it is reminiscent of an adolescent body in a progressive state of growth.

The house
spray and oil on bronze
63.0 x 60.0 cm
©︎Aiko Yuno

In her two-dimensional work “KFC”, Yuno employs the use of lenticular printing (a technology in which lenticular lenses are used to produce images with an illusion of depth, or the ability to change or move as the image is viewed from different angles) and overlays images of fire upon childish motifs such as kittens and candy as if to burn them away with its flames. Art critic and researcher Yuzu Murakami observes in such works what she describes, “the condensation of emotional instability experienced when growing up.”

KFC 2 (Gold)
reticular print, wood flame
210.0 x 100.0 cm
©︎Aiko Yuno

“This sense of emotional instability that appeals to the masses serves as a foothold in experiencing the actuality of Yuno’s work. Our reality lies not within boldly dynamic emotions such as impassion, angst, or melancholy, but in the discursive and transient mood that permeates the world of Yuno’s work.”
(Yuzu Murakami, “On Aiko Yuno’s Anthology of Works”)

The transience of one’s years growing up is indeed something that we have all experienced. Viewers may find themselves projecting their own emotions and prospects onto Yuno’s expressions that attempt to question one’s identity while reflecting upon the past. We welcome you to take this opportunity to experience this inaugural showcasing of the artist’s works at the gallery.

house, urethane foam, spray, glitterpearl
280.0 × 70.0 cm
©︎Aiko Yuno

For press inquiries, please contact: (Makiko Okado)

  • The house 2021 spray and oil on bronze 63.0 x 60.0 cm ©︎Aiko Yuno
  • KFC 2 (Gold) 2021 reticular print, wood flame 210.0 x 100.0 cm ©︎Aiko Yuno
  • Narrative IRIS 2021 spray, resin, acrylic on canvas 100.0 x 80.3 cm ©︎Aiko Yuno
  • THE HOUSE 2 2019 house, urethane foam, spray, glitterpearl 280.0 × 70.0 cm ©︎Aiko Yuno