Text by Tohru Matsumoto
(This text was contributed for a recommendation for Fellowship under the Japan Government Overseas Study Programme in 2009.)
Aiko Tezuka is a recipient of a 2-year fellowship from the Japanese Government Overseas Study Programme and is currently residing in Berlin. She is a highly promising young artist who has gained recognition in the Japanese contemporary art scene for her highly unique installation works that are both painterly as well as three-dimensional, created with ready-made woven fabrics as the material. In 2005, she became an honorable mention winner at VOCA (“The Vision of Contemporary Art”) show, a highly regarded contemporary art competition in Japan. Since then, she has been exhibiting extensively and invited to participate in numerous major group exhibitions at prestigious museums including Okazaki City Mind Scape Museum (2007), Aichi Prefectural Museum of Art (2007), Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo (2008), Aomori Contemporary Art Centre (2008), The Museum of Modern Art Gunma (2008), Toyota Municipal Museum of Art (2009), Tokyo Metropolitan Teien Art Museum (2009), Contemporary Art Museum Kumamoto (2009), and Seoul Museum of Art, South Korea (2009). In addition she has had solo exhibitions at Sculpture Project Space, Royal College of Art, London (2010), Asahi Beer Oyamazaki Villa Museum, Kyoto (2011), and Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin (2013), among others.
Tezuka’s works in the last several years have been created through quite a complicated methodology where a certain amount of threads are pulled out from a fabric that is structured of warp and weft threads woven together, to be transformed into a (customarily gigantic) three-dimensional or spatial piece, or to be fed back into the original fabric in order to stitch images on it. Here, the dissection and recomposition of the original fabric creates something totally new that simultaneously has various significant contexts between ready-made and art, craft (fabric) and art, and painterly images and spatial constructions. In the Japanese art world, it seems that her work is sometimes regarded as “craft-like,” but this is a total misunderstanding. Rather, we should see her methodology as a new, marvelously conceptual way of contemporary art, where structural thinking, painterly color schemes, and architectural space formation are combined together.