photo: Ichiro Mishima

Ryota Aoyagi|sign

August 3 – September 27, 2019


Gallery Koyanagi is pleased to present the first solo exhibition by Ryota Aoyagi, titled “sign”.


“Just like the painters place colors on a canvas’s composition, I want to create a view, by placing colors, forms and textures in a space.” Ryota Aoyagi has been presenting installation art since 2005, by carefully finding places for the found objects, collected and selected by his sensibility, in different spaces, that are also chosen under the circumstances. Aoyagi picked up things such as ceramics, glassware, old utensils, worn out fabric, dolls, and small items from abroad with unknown usage; all filtered through his aesthetics, however miscellaneous. They were made in different times, places, and for diverse purposes; but once assembled by the artist, and reconstructed as an artwork, they became a part of a balanced, but a tense space. The result may be a crystallization of time and memory, or a harmonious layer of indications visualized; these things had been owned by various people, and mostly had been produced by people. Aoyagi would continue to search for such indications, the signs passed on from an unknown person, and for objects with essential requirement and accidental chance; and would wait for those who’d also notice the faint signs.


His recent activity took place in a shelter of a residence in Tokyo. It was opened to the public by reservation only for 9 limited days. In the shelter that was scheduled to be demolished, the artist himself attended a few visitors at a time, on each appointment. There one saw a dark shelter, with small objects, lit dimly. There were 2 works, titled “2015” and “2016”, and in between there was a card, sitting next to a candle, that said

There is no war in this place.

There is no wall in this room.


The art critic Noi Sawaragi has called this space “a tea room” and analyzed that it exemplified the essence of spirit of green tea ceremony as below:


“A place created to hide from weapons for the slaughter that pours from the sky is thus a quirky "tea room" for guests. I said it was strange, but it squeezes the spirit of tea far more than the metamorphosed "tea ceremony" and so on. The "things" selected from the limited time and space by the master's hand and waiting for visits ask constant questions to the invited guests. But there is no answer. Those who look at it lose their whereabouts they should be, as if they were hung in the air. But instead there is no conflict in this space anymore. There is no wall in this room as all origins and features coexist indiscriminately.”

(Excerpt from: Sawaragi, Noi. Tea room for equivalent” – Ryota Aoyagi "2015" "2016" Exhibition. Bijutsu Techo. March. 2017. pp.162-163.)


We will be presenting a new installation work with newly found objects.



press release
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