The Age of Disappearance


1 July – 6 August 2017
Two-person exhibition by Satoru Aoyama and Ken Ikeda

Mizuma Gallery is pleased to announce The Age of Disappearance, a two-person exhibition by Japanese artists, Satoru Aoyama and Ken Ikeda, an embroiderer and a musician respectively.

Traditions, bodies, disaster, war, documentary media – it goes without saying that this is an age in which each of those is itself confronted with many different disappearances, but within that, I think the notion of what the nature of “art” will be in the future is very important.” – Satoru Aoyama

When talking about “The Age of Disappearance”, both Aoyama and Ikeda were eager to discuss the current social situation, with the fading existence of laborious, handmade creations standing against the brewing forces of advancement that come with our globalising world. This collaboration aims to take on the themes of documentation, disappearance, and regeneration.

Satoru Aoyama’s series, Map of the World (Dedicated to unknown embroiderers), evokes the now-classic “Mappa” embroidered world maps by Alighiero Boetti. Yet with a twist: the nations of the planet now appear only when fluorescent in the dark, underlining how the light of recognition for the work of the anonymous women craftworkers who made the original work is always merely intermittent. As ever, Aoyama demonstrates a combination of exquisite technique and sharp conceptualism, in a profound work which raises questions about the fine line between authorship and unacknowledged labour, or between skilled craft and high art. In this, he treads an audacious path, linking the struggles of his own generation to pursue vernacular and technical work in a globalising art world. Alongside Aoyama’s embroidery, the works of musician Ken Ikeda use the action of producing sound to suggest the theme of regeneration. Presented through a primitive way of creation, Ikeda’s work comes to life through elastic bands stretched taut across pieces of wood boards, resulting in the creation of instrumental drawings made with luminous paint. Ken Ikeda will perform a series of musical pieces alongside a live video performance by Satoru Aoyama on the opening night.

Special Thanks to:
Writer: Professor Adrian Favell
Graffiti Artist: Anthony “ANTZ” Chong
Assistance: MIKAWA Mikiko


by Satoru Aoyama and Ken Ikeda
Saturday, 1 July 2017, 4:30 – 5 pm & 6 – 6:30 pm
(Caution: Contains flashing images)
Video trailer for the performance:

About the Artists

Satoru Aoyama (b. 1973, Japan) graduated from Goldsmiths College in London in 1998, and completed a master’s program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2001. He has been using an old industrial sewing machine right from when he first started making art. For those who deal with industrial machinery – of all sorts, not just sewing machines – acquiring the proper techniques truly does mean becoming at one with the machine, the better to overcome the difficulties and dilemmas of the work. Andy Warhol once famously declared his wish to be a machine. The process of transforming machine into live, warm body encompasses a number of issues, the constantly transmuting – thanks to modernization – nature of what it means to be human, and the value of labor among them. These are issues he ponders to this very day, always with the history of fine art, and of industrial art, in mind. Some of Aoyama’s major exhibits include “Map of the World (Dedicated to Unknown Embroiderers)”, Mizuma Art Gallery, Tokyo, 2015, “STORY TELLER, Units of Recognition“, Aomori Contemporary Art Centre, Aomori, 2012, “Meguro Address”, Meguro Museum of Art, Tokyo, 2012, “Roppongi Crossing 2010: Is Art Possible?”, Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, 2010, and the upcoming Yokohama Triennale 2017. Satoru Aoyama currently lives and works in Tokyo, Japan.

Ken Ikeda (b. 1964, Japan) is a composer and performer, born in Tokyo. After studying at Berklee College of Music, he has exhibited sound art and visual installations around the world, and has worked with John Russell, Eddie Prevost, David Toop, Simon Scott, Toshimaru Nakamura, Tetsuji Akiyama and many other improvising musicians; He has collaborated with, amongst others, artist Mariko Mori, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Tadanori Yokoo; and composed and recorded for film maker David Lynch. He released CD albums from Touch, Spekk, Baskaru, White Paddy Mountain and Home Normal. Ken Ikeda currently lives and works in London, UK.

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