Ayako, Rokkaku, ロッカクアヤコ, Japan, 1982
About Ayako Rokkaku
The artist Ayako Rokkaku (Japan, 1982) made this statement in an interview at the Geisai art fair in 2006 where she participated with her own stand. Kaikai Kiki, the company of the renowned Japanese pop artist Takashi Murakami launched the Geisai art fair to support cutting edge upcoming Japanese artists. Rokkaku has won the Scout Prize at Geisai #4 and the prestigious Akio Goto Prize at Geisai #9. Geisai invited high profile industry experts such as Francois Pinault, owner of auction house Christie’s, and the architect Tadao Ando, who both took part on the panel of judges for the ninth edition of the art market. Artist Yoshimoto Nara and David Ellis formed a jury panel in earlier editions of Geisai.
Ayako Rokkaku was born in Chiba-shi, a town situated in the ‘greater Tokyo’ area. She started to paint in 2002 and mastered her own painting technique. She never attended art school, but is completely self-taught. Rokkaku’s iconic style features large, mostly female figures with candid facial expressions full of character. Vividly coloured backgrounds, littered with flowers, tiny figures and rainbow-like smears compose a colourful and happy dream world. The large eyes and long arms of her characters fit within the Japanese manga style, while the bright colours and compositions remind of drawings made by infants. Not coincidentally, as Rokkaku loves the imagination and lack of rules in children’s drawings.
Her unique technique, directly applying the acrylic paint to the canvas using her bare fingers and hands, is easily recognizable in the dynamic and lively compositions. Not limiting herself to traditional media, Rokkaku just as easily transforms pieces of used cardboard and vintage Louis Vuitton Trunks into colourful works of art. She particularly enjoys creating very large paintings of several meters wide and high. The power of her direct approach to the canvas is optimally manifested in her ‘performance paintings’ which she creates live at art fairs and during exhibitions. As an audience of such a happening we get a chance to be part of her world. Ayako Rokkaku nowadays lives and works alternately in Berlin, Porto, Tokyo and Amsterdam. Since 2006 Gallery Delaive is Ayako Rokkaku’s worldwide representative. She has had (solo) exhibitions in numerous galleries and shown on art fairs in Asia, Europe and the U.S.A. Solo exhibitions in the Kunsthal museum in Rotterdam, The Netherlands and the Meulensteen Danubiana Art Museum in Slovakia attracted thousands of visitors.