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"Constellation ~想起されつづけるもの~" 

Naho Ito

12 April - 1 May 2022

Gallery is pleased to announce a solo show "Constellation" by Kyoto artist Naho Ito. The exhibition features 6 new works amongst which is a large-scale painting "Reminiscence Of Mysteries" (162 x 521 cm) presented for the first time in Kyoto City Museum of Art in 2021. 


Ito’s series of works for this exhibition was inspired by CG Jung’s reference to the word "constellation". The artist felt that the meaning of this word metaphorically reflects the process of her painting. She transfers the stories told by celestial constellations into the conceptual realm in her works. Celestial forms are materialised from chaos of events, which happen accidentally but are still interrelated through space-time fabric itself. The artist discovers hidden connections between various encounters with the surrounding world, finds their unique meanings and reveals them as "constellations". The result of her art is a delicate tension, she’s not just aiming for harmony.


Ito believes that in the shimmering sunlight one may recall little things of daily life, accidental encounters and eventually discover the meaning of those connections. For her it presents the proof that "I" is included in the world.


In Ito's paintings the abstract manner is combined with traditional mineral pigment painting technique on paper. 

Mineral pigments have countless colours, hence each painter can make  their own color palette.  As hundreds years ago she rubs and dissolves each ingredient with  her fingers, then blends them with glue and applies on paper. It allows her to achieve necessary tint, find a balance between colour and texture. This practice is an important part of the artist's work.


The artist does not use lines, her works consist entirely of color spots of varying intensity, which are permeated with light and flawless in tinting. They seem to shine through, appear on the surface, gather into color objects, multi-layered traces as reflections and shadows of the reality perceived by the artist. Each color spot applied to the surface of the picture is designed to reflect her thought, emotion or moment. 


Ito points out that:

"I do not feel the need to draw grand stories.  Humans have been living moment after moment under whatever circumstances. Therefore, I would like to express the moments that we live through one after another. So, every moment is grand in its own way”.

In her refined intellectual paintings, often illusive but always striking,  Ito explores the infinite possibilities of human nature and feelings,  trying to understand herself, eternity and relations between them.

She is aiming to reflect her emotional experience through a time flow  while catching a moment in which phenomena arise through time and space, passing from one state to another.

This exhibition includes paintings which fully reflect Ito's delicate manner and highlights her focus on methodical exploration  of abstraction in order to make the element under the investigation impose itself in all its imperious truth.

Reminiscence Of Mysteries

2021 Japanese pigments on handmade hemp paper on wooden panel 162 x 521 cm

Stella Ⅰ

2021 Japanese pigments on handmade hemp paper on wooden panel 15.8 x 22.8 cm


2020 Japanese pigments on handmade hemp paper on wooden panel 60.5 x 91 cm


2021 Japanese pigments on handmade hemp paper on wooden panel 32 x 82 cm

Stella Ⅱ

2021 Japanese pigments on handmade hemp paper on wooden panel 18 x 18 cm

Early Dawn

2021 Japanese pigments on handmade hemp paper on wooden panel 24.2 × 33.3 cm

artist profile

Naho Ito learned Japanese traditional aesthetics and traditional painting materials, such as handmade paper, mineral pigments, sumi-ink, gold and silver foils and glue.

The color materials are called in Japanese Iwa-enogu or Rock painting. Basically Rock painting consists of clay, various minerals, shells of oysters and clams and many other elements that have been used since ancient times. Ito mixes each ingredient with glue with her own fingers. They should be treated very delicately and then pasted to the handmade paper. Moreover, they should be arranged according to seasons. So, one may say that “nature” is only one element of the technique, which Ito enjoys.

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