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Satoru Aoyama
Embroiderers (Dedicated to Unknown Embroiderers) #12, 2016
Embroidery on inkjet print
18×25cm
Courtesy the artist and Mizuma Art Gallery, Tokyo

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Satoru Aoyama
Embroiderers (Dedicated to Unknown Embroiderers) #11, 2016
Embroidery on inkjet print
18×25cm
Courtesy the artist and Mizuma Art Gallery, Tokyo

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Satoru Aoyama
Map of the World (Dedicated to Unknown Embroiderers), 2015
Polyester and luminous thread on polyester
Courtesy the artist and Mizuma Art Gallery, Tokyo

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Satoru Aoyama
Map of the World (Dedicated to Unknown Embroiderers), 2015
Polyester and luminous thread on polyester
Courtesy the artist and Mizuma Art Gallery, Tokyo

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Satoru Aoyama
Map of the World (Dedicated to Unknown Embroiderers), 2015
Polyester and luminous thread on polyester
Courtesy the artist and Mizuma Art Gallery, Tokyo

Satoru Aoyama

Satoru Aoyama (b. 1973) holds a BA in Textiles from Goldsmiths University and an MFA from the Fiber and Material Studies department of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Aoyama works with an old Singer sewing machine to create meticulously embroidered works, which range in subject matter from world maps to historical depictions of labour and craft. With painstaking and skilled precision, Aoyama’s intricate process reflects on the notion of the individual craftsman in an age of outsourcing and mechanised labour. Frequently working with found imagery, Aoyama further questions the cultural value of appropriation.

His recent series, ‘Map of the World (Dedicated to unknown embroiderers)’ (2012-) references the Afghan craftswomen who assisted in the making of Alighiero Boetti’s ‘Mappa’ series (1971-1989). Aoyama has embroidered four world maps, along with a map of Europe. Reflecting the passage of time since Boetti’s works, new countries such as Ukraine and Serbia are now visible on the contemporary world map. Aoyama’s maps are embroidered using a fluorescent thread. In daylight they reveal little detail, but when shown in a darkened space each country and border is revealed. With this potential double reading, the artist suggests the often immaterial and intangible quality of borders and the geopolitics that underpin them.

In Death Song (2012), produced in collaboration with a contemporary musician, Aoyama took a 20th-century protest song of which only a fragment remained, and re-imagined the extract as a full-length piece. With this Aoyama attempted to revive the song for today’s world.

For his Glitter Pieces series (2008), Aoyama reproduced both the front and back of a printed matter as one image, appropriating the material quality of printed media into one form. In these pieces, while purposely taking imagery now devoid of meaning and rendering it in metallic thread, the artist sought humanity in a monotonous task.

Across his wide range of examples, Aoyama’s practice seeks to shed light on the people, records and stories that remain unknown in historical accounts.

Born in Tokyo, lives and works in Tokyo, 1973

Education

1998

Goldsmiths College, University of London, BA Textiles, Visual Art Department

2001

The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, MFA Fiber and Material Study Department

Solo exhibitions

2015

Dedicated to Unknown Embroiderers, Mizuma Art Gallery, Tokyo

2012

The Man-Machine (Reprise) Featuring Hirokazu Hiraishi, Mizuma Art Gallery, Tokyo

2011

Artists Must Earnestly Make Six Roses in Their Lives, Mizuma Art Gallery, Tokyo

2010

COMPLEX CIRCUIT – Contact Zone 5 / Satoru AOYAMA, AlphaM Gallery, Tokyo, curated by Mizuki Takahashi

2009

Glitter Pieces 1-22, Mizuma Art Gallery, Tokyo

2007

Open Studio, Fuchu Art Museum, Tokyo
Ancient Pixels, Chicago Cultural Center, Michigan Avenue Gallery, Chicago
Crowing in the Studio, Mizuma Art Gallery, Tokyo
Good Aliens, One in the Other, London

2005

Air, Coffee, Good Morning Tokyo, Mizuma Art Gallery, Tokyo

2004

Aoyama Satoru Criterium 60, Art Tower Mito, Ibaraki
YU-KEI, Mizuma Art Gallery, Tokyo

2002

Satoru Aoyama, Finesilver Gallery, San Antonio
In Stiched, Zolla/Lieberman Gallery, Chicago

Group Exhibitions

2015

Taguchi Hiroshi Art Collection A Walk around the Contemporary Art World after Paradigm Shift, The Museum of Fine Arts, Gifu
Rokko Meats Art 2015, Rokkosan, Kobe
Embroidery × Sound x Art, Aoyama Satoru, Daikanyama Tsutaya Books, Tokyo
Alternative Choice, Yokohama Civic Art Gallery Azamino, Kanagawa

2014

Arafd Art Anual 2014, Arafd Onsen, Fukushima
Red Bull Music Company, Red Bull Japan, Tokyo
Anti-War: Resistance Against the Anticipated War snow contemporary, Tokyo
Find Asia, Yokohama Creative Center, Kanagawa
Mikkeru Visitor Center Yokohama, Zou-no-hana Terrace, Kanagawa

2013

Why not live for Art? II, Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery, Tokyo
Wonderful My Art, Kawaguchiko museum of Art, Yamanashi
Flowers, Towada Art Center, Aomori

2012

Meguro Addresses – Artist in Urban Life, Meguro Museum of Art, Tokyo
Photo Reference: Photographic Image in Contemporary Japanese Art Practices, Belgrade Cultural Center – The Art Gallery, Belgrade, Serbia
Storyteller -Units of Recognition, Aomoro Contemporary Art Center, Aomori

2011

VOCA, Ueno Royal Museum, Tokyo
Art for Tomorrow, Tokyo Wonder Site Shibuya, Tokyo
ZIPANGU, Takashimaya (traveled to: Tokyo; Osaka; Kyoto)
Dojima River Biennale, Dojima River Forum, Osaka
CAFE in Mito: Relationships in Color, Art Tower Mito, Ibaraki
COWBOY & PHOTON, CAPSULE, Tokyo
Parallel Running Theory, Tokyo Wonder Site Shibuya, Tokyo
Cross Counter: Artist Cooperative Project, XYZ collective, Tokyo
TARO LOVE, SEIBU Shibuya, Tokyo

2010

Roppongi Crossing: Can There Be Art?, Mori Art Museum, Tokyo

2009

TWIST AND SHOUT: Contemporary Art from Japan, Bankok Art and Cultural Centre

2008

Neoteny Japan: from Takahashi Collection, Kirishima Open-Air Museum, Kagoshima; traveled to The Museum of Contemporary Art, Sapporo & Ueno Royal Museum, Tokyo
THE ECHO ZAIM, Yokohama
Akasaka Art Flower, Akasaka Sacas, Tokyo

2007

Neighbourhood Watch, Nettie Horn, London, U.K.

2006

New Art, Yokohama Civic Gallery, Yokohama
All look same. Art ChinaKorea JapanArt, Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin, Italy, curated by Francesco Bonami
The Souvenir Mine, Mizuma Art Gallery, Tokyo, curated by Satoru Aoyama
Swallow harder, Frey Art Museum, Seattle, W.A.

2005

Since 1994– Mizuma Art Gallery, The 10th Anniversary Exhibition
Scape Codes: Neo-Topography, PKM Gallery, Seoul, Korea

2004

Officina Asia, Galleria de Arte Moderna, Bologna, Italy curated by Renato Barilli
Boys Who Sew, Crafts Council, London, curated by Janis Jefferies

2003

Don’t Look Down, Nunnery, London

2002

Small Collection, Govett-Brewster Gallery, New Plymouth, New Zealand, curated by Roger MacDonald

2001

MFA Thesis Exhibition, The Art Institute of Chicago Gallery 2, Chicago

2000

Kindergarten, Sumida Kindergarten, Tokyo, curated by Roger McDonald

Public Collection

Mori Art Museum, Tokyo

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