Japanese Artist Ayako Rokkaku in Kunsthal Rotterdam
by Daniel Haim
This summer, the Kunsthal Rotterdam will be presenting work by Japanese artist Ayako Rokkaku (1982) in an exhibition entitled ‘Colours in My Hand’. The artist plans to move her studio temporarily into the Kunsthal’s ‘daylight hall’. Every day for three weeks, she will be working on an ‘artwork in progress’ in a house that she designed and built herself. Exclusively for the Kunsthal, Rokkaku will be painting large murals, or ‘live paintings’, which she creates by applying acrylic paint directly to the canvas with her fingers. She shares with the public her very own world of bright colors and recurring symbols such as flowers, animals, boats and houses. A recurrent theme in her work is that of little girls with large eyes and long arms that she often portrays in close-up. Everyone can join in with Ayako as she paints at the Kunsthal. You can watch Rokkaku via a webcam as she works throughout the entire project, from preparing her paints to developing and realising the artworks.
A Painting Performance
Ayako Rokkaku works in a style particular to her; her method is direct, and she does not use brushes but dips her hands into the paint and applies it to cardboard or canvas using just her fingers. She begins to paint without any pencil lines, and with no plan or composition in mind.
Rokkaku: ‘The paintings change constantly and everyone can watch that process. It is wonderful to be able to share that moment of creation with others.’ Rokkaku’s work appears cheerful, but appearances can be deceptive. Beneath the sweet fantasy lies an abundance of emotions, anger, fear, insecurities and convictions that Rokkaku projects onto the canvas. Whilst fantasy and fable play a major role, the images remain both credible and familiar. But the little girls’ charming gazes can sometimes turn around to become stares of hostility.
Ayako Rokkaku (1982) lives and works by turns in Tokyo, Berlin and Amsterdam. She began to paint in 2002 and is self taught. Her career as a talented young artist was launched in 2006 at the Geisai art market in Japan when she won the ‘Scout Prize’. She became known for her performance paintings on large canvas. Since her debut performance in Gallery Delaive in 2007, Rokkaku’s work has been shown at exhibitions in various countries including Denmark, Italy, Switzerland, Korea and Taiwan.
Painting with your hands
This summer, children will be more than welcome to come and paint their very own artwork using their hands, just like Ayako Rokkaku!
The exhibition is a collaboration with Gallery Delaive in Amsterdam.
Please include our telephone number and website in your publication: info +31-(0)10-4400301, http://www.kunsthal.nl Opening hours: Tuesday – Saturday 10am – 5pm, Sundays and public holidays 11am – 5pm