Ayako Rokkaku ロッカクアヤコ
Rokkaku never attended art school but is completely self-taught, developing her own unique painting technique. She applies acrylic paint directly to the canvas or cardboard with her bare hands. Every painting starts like a walk without a specific destination. She starts painting without a predefined idea, painting what comes naturally until a composition slowly starts to emerge. A dreamy, colorful landscape, with tiny floating flowers, animals and skulls. A recurring element in her work is the prominent presence of young girls, which she paints in the manga style, with large eyes and long limbs. Rokkaku considers these girls fun to paint and a way of expressing her personality in her paintings.
The diminutive artist, who is just 1.56 m tall, regularly demonstrates her painting technique during live painting performances, working on canvases that can be up to 7 meters wide. “I love painting on something that is much bigger than I am. Moving to and fro between the corners of such a huge canvas makes me feel as if the colors are flowing through my body.” In recent years, Rokkaku has experimented with various new techniques and materials, creating wool and cardboard installations, sculptures made from layered acrylate and hand-painted antique Louis Vuitton suitcases.
Global citizen Ayako Rokkaku (b. Chiba, 1982) lives and works alternatingly in Berlin, Porto, Tokyo and Amsterdam. She created her first paintings in 2002, applying acrylic paint to cardboard with her bare hands. Her work soon caught the critics’ eye. In 2003 and 2006, she won prizes at Geisai, an art fair for emerging artists in Tokyo, organised by the world-famous artist Takashi Murakami (b. Tokyo, 1962).
Since her first solo show at Gallery Delaive in 2007, Rokkaku has been invited to exhibit her work in several galleries and at art fairs in Asia, Europe and the United States. She has had solo shows in Rotterdam’s Kunsthal and the Danubiana Meulensteen Art Museum in Slovakia, which attracted thousands of visitors. Art connoisseurs consider Rokkaku to be one of the most promising contemporary artists.