Mayuko KOYAMA “Passion”

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  • Works

Loko Gallery is pleased to present the first solo exhibition of Mayuko Koyama “Passion”.

Born in Hiroshima Prefecture in 1978, Koyama completed the Foundation Course at Chelsea College of Arts, University of the Arts London, and graduated with a Master’s Degree in Oil Painting at Tokyo University of the Arts in 2018. She currently lives and works in Tokyo, focusing on abstract paintings using techniques such as oil painting, collage, drawing, and etching.

This exhibition, which represents a culmination of her artistic practice, will feature her Cloud Flower series in oil, as well as the Sketchbook series layered with collage techniques and the drawing work “Demeter.”


Growing up in Fukuyama City in Hiroshima Prefecture, where the natural environment is intertwined with her childhood memories, Koyama recalls her tendency to immerse herself in idyllic and allegorical imagination and it’s connection to her first encounter with the renowned painting of Giorgione. “The Tempest” known for its iconic clouds and lightning that is thought to be the world’s first landscape paintings, Koyama was drawn to the enigmatic unease that went beyond the framework of realism. This painting, which is said to have eliminated religious and narrative elements through the depiction and arrangement of mother-child figures, resonates with the flatness conveyed in the Sienese school of Renaissance painting. Sensing the activation of a kind of filtering apparatus in the slightly distorted composition, Koyama believes that such filters lead to the manifestation of abstraction.

Regarding the perspective as a way of integrating visual modernity, philosopher and art historian Damisch, in his book “A Theory of /Cloud/” elucidates that it can be destabilized from its conventional view of perceiving the whole from a single point by introducing clouds as an immeasurable element. Koyama’s heavily layered Cloud Flower oil paintings and series of works that incorporate diverse media, stratified and fragmented on her previous works, seem to disrupt the panoramic perspective, seeking to reveal the “partial whole” through the practice that provokes a certain sense of disturbance. The sensation that Koyama describes applying a quote as being immersed in “an inexplicable emotional state and a sense of being interwoven into a ‘cohesive world’”*1 is depicted like a amorphous substance. Moreover, it is an act of overwriting her consciousness and reshaping her previous self as she articulates.

For Koyama, the Cloud Flower, which serves as the core of this exhibition, is not only a motif but also a significant catalyst in her subsequent artistic endeavors. Reflecting upon the female artists predecessors who chose abstract painting as a lifestyle and inspiration to her own struggles, Koyama freed self from preconceived notions and constraints, establishing an environment where she could focus on the patterns and repetitions in her creative process. For her, Cloud Flower is a self-portrait that reflects her own femininity, the duality of being human, and an universal human form. In the series with a prominent grid in the foreground, the attempt to express spatiality is accompanied by a contrast between the fluctuation of the underlying curves and the regularity of the grid, suggesting a coexistence of ambiguity within her. Koyama expresses a sense of “being led” to unknown possibilities beyond her control through her creative pursuits. It could be an act as Valéry mentioned*2, where “an artist brings forth their body” and “lends it to the world, transforming the world into art.”

“The free mind of an artist, like a sensitized plate, must be just a receiver. (Omission) Patient work, contemplation, study, various struggles, and joys, in other words, the experiences of life, have prepared the groundwork for this photosensitive plate. (Omission) The interface between our minds and the universe – is color.(Omission) What momentum… what melancholy.”
(Joachim Gasquet’s “Cézanne”, Japanese translation by Fumiko Yosano)

The works that employ a collage technique, which emerged along with the artist’s bodily movements, include parts of paper bags received from friends, cut-out pieces from old books, and paper towels used in everyday life. Koyama analyzes this practice as “feeling that a physical, sensual reality emerges” beneath the surface of consciousness. These works, which she considers as extensions of painting, combine the power of materials with the brushstrokes of paint, evoking an anticipation of tactility and accompanying bodily sensations in the viewer. A synesthetic experience, akin to seeping through the sense of touch, is unleashed within the exhibition space.

Noriko Yamakoshi, Independent Curator


*1 Words about novelist Kunio Tsuji by scholar of literature Toru Shimizu.
*2 French poet and philosopher. “Complete Works of Valéry,” Volume 4, Chikuma Shobo, 1977.


Mayuko Koyama CV
Born in Hiroshima1978, lives and works in Tokyo

Chelsea College of Arts, Foundation course (2006)
Tokyo University of The Arts, Master’s degree in Oil-Painting (2018)

<Selected exhibition>
“Bologna International Picture Book Illustration Exhibition”Group show, Itabashi Art Museum, Tokyo, 2011
“Tokyo Wonder Wall” (Group show, Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo, 2012)
“Song” (Solo Show, TWS-Emerging, Tokyo Wonder Site Hongo, 2013)
“Face” (Group Show, Sompo Museum of Art, Tokyo, 2014 + 2016)
“Rever 2074” (Group show, The University Art Museum, Tokyo University of the Arts, 2017)
“Would You Say That If There’s Meaning, Because You Say There’s Meaning?” (Solo exhibition, Fujisawa City Art Space, 2022)
“Penguin Site Vol.1. Mayuko Koyama + Shiraho Hiromi” (Duo show, Penguin’s House Green, 2023

小山真由子《キャンバスコラージュシリーズ(mountain)》2023年、ミクストメディア、335×335mm Mayuko KOYAMA《Canvas collage series(mountain)》2023, mixed media, 335×335mm
小山真由子《キャンバスコラージュシリーズ(branch)》2023年、ミクストメディア、609×412mm Mayuko KOYAMA 《Canvas collage series(branch)》2023, mixed media, 609×412mm
(black rice)》2023年、ミクストメディア、730×500mm Mayuko KOYAMA《Canvas collage series(black rice)》2023, mixed media, 730×500mm
小山真由子《キャンバスコラージュシリーズ(stitch)》2023年、ミクストメディア、335×335mm Mayuko KOYAMA《Canvas collage series(stitch)》2023, mixed media, 335×335mm
小山真由子《rice》2023年、ミクストメディア、290×155×190mm Mayuko KOYAMA《rice》2023, mixed media, 290×155×190mm
小山真由子《ピスタチオ》2023年、ミクストメディア、1620×1620×95mm Mayuko KOYAMA《Pistachio》2023, mixed media, 1620×1620×95mm
小山真由子《キャンバスコラージュシリーズ(shopping)》2023年、ミクストメディア、730×500mm Mayuko KOYAMA《Canvas collage series(shopping)》2023, mixed media, 730×500mm
小山真由子《バスローブ》2023年、紙、アクリル、鉛筆、240×240mm 4点 Mayuko KOYAMA 《Bathrobe》2023, paper, acrylic paint, graphite, 240×240mm 4pieces
小山真由子《contingent》2023年、ミクストメディア、385×395mm Mayuko KOYAMA《contingent》2023, mixed media, 385×395mm
小山真由子《キャンバスコラージュシリーズ(half circle)》2023年、ミクストメディア、609×412mm Mayuko KOYAMA 《Canvas collage series(half circle)》2023, mixed media, 609×412mm 
小山真由子《キャンバスコラージュシリーズ(cookies blue)》2023年、ミクストメディア、 275×222mm Mayuko KOYAMA《Canvas collage series(cookies blue)》2023, mixed media, 275×222mm
小山真由子《スケッチブックシリーズ》2023年、ミクストメディア、 450×380mm Mayuko KOYAMA《Scketchbook series》2023, mixed media, 450×380mm
小山真由子《スモールクラウドシリーズ》2023年、キャンバス、油彩、アクリル、ミクストメディア、 275×162mm Mayuko KOYAMA《Small Cloud series》2023, canvas, oil, acrylic paint, mixed media, 275×162mm 
小山真由子《スモールクラウドシリーズ》2023年、キャンバス、油彩、アクリル、ミクストメディア、 275×162mm Mayuko KOYAMA《Small Cloud series》2023, canvas, oil, acrylic paint, mixed media, 275×162mm 
小山真由子《スケッチブックシリーズ》2023年、ミクストメディア、 450×380mm Mayuko KOYAMA《Scketchbook series》2023, mixed media, 450×380mm
小山真由子《キャンバスコラージュシリーズ(cookies pink)》2023年、ミクストメディア、 275×222mm Mayuko KOYAMA《Canvas collage series(cookies pink)》2023, mixed media, 275×222mm
小山真由子《old book シリーズ》2023年、古紙、アクリル、ミクストメディア、 350×255mm Mayuko KOYAMA《Old book series》2023, old book, acrylic paint, mixed media, 350×255mm