Aya Ito and Richard Gorman / “Sea Both Sides” 8/ ART GALLERY/ Tomio Koyama Gallery, April 4 – 22, 2019

Left) Elephant man with fisher angel 2019 oil on linen 100 × 100 cm © Aya Ito Right) Squeeze Orange 2018 oil on linen 100 × 100 cm © Richard Gorman

Aya Ito and Richard Gorman / “Sea Both Sides – Nothing can be everything, Everything can be nothing”

8/ ART GALLERY/ Tomio Koyama Gallery, Shibuya Hikarie 8F
April 4 – 22, 2019
Venue hours : 11am – 8pm
Open everyday during exhibitions
Admission Free

Opening reception : Thursday, April 4, 6 – 8pm
Artist talk : April 4, 7pm –


8/ ART GALLERY/ Tomio Koyama Gallery is pleased to present “Sea Both Sides: Nothing can be everything, everything can be nothing” a two-person exhibition of works by Aya Ito and Richard Gorman. 

The idea for this exhibition developed through the encounter between these two artists in Gorman’s hometown of Dublin. Gorman has spoken about Ito’s works as follows: “I think she is a terrific painter standing out from the general run of young Asian artists. I am particularly interested in her large works.” 

The title of this exhibition “Sea Both Sides” is that which was devised by Gorman. It derives from the fact that Japan and Ireland, where both had been born and raised, are island nations surrounded by sea. With their studios both located near the seaside, it also suggests how the practices of these artists harbor aspects that influence one another. Furthermore, the subtitle “Nothing can be everything, everything can be nothing” serves to indicate the relationship between Gorman and Ito’s works. In response to Gorman who had stated that “Ito’s paintings are ‘everything’ whereas my paintings are ‘nothing,'” Ito had replied, “‘nothing can be ‘everything,’ and ‘everything’ can be ‘nothing.'” It is thus a phrase that symbolizes the ideas and thoughts of these two individuals that express a mutual understanding and appreciation of each other’s work and practice. 

For this exhibition, Ito, as inspired by Gorman’s practice, has produced oil paintings and three-dimensional works in a way that responds to Gorman’s painterly oeuvre. Featured on this occasion are new works by the artists. 

Born in Wakayama in 1987, Aya Ito is an artist who creates paintings based on her unique motifs and processes. Ito’s work begins with the production of dioramas indoors, which comprise of her own paintings and drawings, ceramic sculptures, objects, fabrics, and items of furniture. She thus appropriates the approach of ‘photo-drawing,’ creating paintings through herself entering the world of these dioramas, and further taking countless photographs to examine and explore its various visual effects. Having moved the base of her practice to Ireland for two years between 2016 and 2018, Ito began to place emphasis on the issue of “how to confront and engage with works” rather than “on what theme they are to be produced.” She received much acclaim for her installation that was presented at “Rokko Meets Art 2017,” which featured a series of paintings and three-dimensional works such as mammoth vegetables and hands made by covering Styrofoam with washi paper. 

Born in Dublin in 1946, Richard Gorman is an Irish artist who produces paintings characterized by their use of pure colors and simple shapes consisting solely of lines and surfaces. Although Gorman worked in the motor industry after studying business at Trinity College in Dublin, he entered art university at the age of 30 to pursue his career as an artist. His extensive oeuvres that pursue the relationships between color, shape, surface, and space, have gained much acclaim across Europe and the United States, and from around the mid-1980s he has regularly presented exhibitions in Dublin, London, Milan, and Tokyo. Gorman has a long relationship with Japan, and he has also produced works using washi since encountering Echizen Washi produced by Iwano Heizaburo Seishisho in the early 1990s in Imadate Town, Fukui (current Imadate District, Echizen City). He continues to regularly visit Japan. In 2014 he was selected to design the carrè scarf for Hermès, and in 2015 he was responsible for the show window design of the Hermès boutique in Isetan Shinjuku Department Store.

The exhibition “Colors 3: Richard Gorman / Yoko Hara / Yasuyoshi Tokida” was held at the Yanagisawa Gallery in Saitama from March 9th – 30th, 2019. His solo exhibition “Richard Gorman: KEIJO” will be held at the Chigasaki City Museum of Art from April 6th. 


Concurrent exhibition: Richard Gorman “KEIJO”
Venue: Chigasaki City Museum of Art
Dates: April 6 – June 2, 2019
Please visit the link for more information.