“Hahaha at Hyperspeed”

BELIEVE 2012 oil and crayon on canvas 218.5 × 291.5 cm ©︎Aya Ito


Aya Ito’s works have unique motifs such as zombi, ghost, and ones that are “vulgar, not artistic but childish”. Viewers may be surprised, amused, and imagine that Ito paints them unrestrainedly and spontaneously. Her works, which embrace unusual sense of space, however, are composed through a series of careful process. Ito creates maquette and examines the visual effects by taking many photographs, before she starts painting, and she calls this method “photo-drawing”. Evoking imagination based on daily experiences, she transforms the unexpected things happen in the process into some reality with special density. Her works do not carry stories, and even if they do, the stories do not have certain meanings. Her work’s reality is absurd and unstable yet lively, giving the sensations and seemingly disjointing the conventional views.
Ito states, “I have been attracted by realism rather than imagination, and collage rather than simple realism.” By using different mediums such as sculpture, installation, photography, as well as painting, Ito pursues her own reality and presents a different view of the world.


This exhibition features about 10 new paintings, mainly with the motif of a woman, as well as sculptures of ceramic, wood and paper clay. On the title of the show, Ito states; “When I was talking to my friend, our conversation turned to a book. The title of the book is ‘Mo-supido de haha wa’ (Mother at Hyperspeed, By Yu Nagashima, published by Bungeishunju), but I said ‘Mo-supido de hahaha’ by mistake. I started picturing a person who is running through very fast saying ‘hahaha’, and couldn’t help imagining about the person. So I wanted to create a work with the phrase.” Ito finds inspirations from the imagination that grows out of accident or coincidence, and for her, the moods of the works are more important than stories.

Artist Profile

Aya Ito

Aya Ito was born in Arida-city, Wakayama in 1987. She received MFA from Department of Painting, Graduate School of Art, Kyoto City University of Arts. Ito received the Suntory award at “Art Camp in Kunst-Bau 2007” (Suntory Museum, Osaka), the Shu Uemura Prize and the Judge’s Prize (Yuko Hasegawa) at “Art Award Tokyo Marunouchi 2011”. Her major group exhibitions include “VOCA 2010” (The Ueno Royal Museum, Tokyo, 2010), and “RESONANCE” (Suntory Museum, Osaka, 2010), “Really Realistic Reality” (The Museum of Modern Art, Wakayama, 2015). She has recently presented work at “AYA ITO & ATSUSHI KAGA IT HAPPENS TO BE” (Pallas Projects/Studios, Ireland) in July 2017. She also had solo exhibition “Sleeping Stone” (8/ ART GALLERY/ Tomio Koyama Gallery, Tokyo) in September 2017.

1987 Born in Wakayama, Japan
2009 B.F.A. Kyoto City University of Arts
2011 M.F.A. Kyoto City University of Arts