EGUCHI Ayane ""Q" which decomposes"

1 June - 25 June 2022

Mizuma Art Gallery is pleased to announce the opening of Eguchi Ayane‘s exhibition “‘Q’ which decomposes” – the artist’s first solo show at Mizuma – on Wednesday, June 1.


Eguchi Ayane continues to create works themed around a consonance of things in this world that are being tagged with such contrary attributes as loveliness and eeriness, life and death.

In her paintings made with highly chromatic colors, Eguchi illustrates what appears to be a fantasy world of colorful mushrooms and creatures as cute as teddy bears. It is in the details, however, that depictions of flesh and blood suggest that this painted world is just as full of contradictions as the one we live in.


The centerpiece of this exhibition is a new “KUSOUZU” series of paintings.


KUSOUZU is a type of Buddhist painting that illustrates the process of decomposition of a dead body placed outside, divided into nine phases. It is said that the purpose of these images of decaying bodies of beautiful women, was to express the impurity and vanity of the human body, and thereby keep Buddhist priests away from worldly desires during their abstinent, ascetic practice.


According to her desire not to interpret the nine phases as something impure, but focus on different aspects, Eguchi approaches “death” not as something with an overall negative notion. Instead, her works express a rather positive idea of “death in order to live.”


[Artist’s comment]

These KUSOUZU paintings are full of mushrooms. Around the world, there exist various forms of sepulture according to local cultures and traditions, including cremation, burial at sea, disposal of the dead by exposure, and aerial burial. When painting these KUSOUZU, the image that I was having in mind was that of decomposition by mushrooms. A mushroom burial so to speak. Mushrooms have a strong substance-degrading ability, so they can decompose all kinds of things: dead plants and animals, petroleum, plastic, etc.

The exhibition title, “‘Q’ which decomposes,” refers to the conceptual decomposition of the physical image of decomposing mushrooms, and the negative image of death, and transforming these things into positive ideas. At the same time, the “Q” that decomposes here are the “nine” (“kyu” in Japanese) phases in the KUSOUZU, while Q also stands for “question” – as in the eternal question that remains unsolved and left to our imagination until the day we die. In addition, I thought a Q somehow looks like a mushroom…


Come and see the exhibition, and let the “‘Q’ which decomposes” introduce you to the world of Eguchi Ayane, illustrated based on the artist’s contemplation on a reality in which life and death, loveliness and eeriness, and other contradictions exist side by side.