Tree rings inside a tree represent the flow of time.

Time seems to slip away from Aya Ando.

It is not a year of residence at the Greenhouse that will mark her face with fatigue, nor is it tobacco that will yellow her teeth, nor the sun that will make her blush: Aya does not age.

Could the spell of Dorian Grey be hiding behind this childish face?

Far from it, Aya’s paintings do not praise eternal youth.

On the contrary…

Aya, you are a painter, recently graduated from the UDK in Berlin, originally from Tokyo, Japan, and based at the Gaswerk since then. You work exclusively with painting, with a predilection for oil painting. Could you explain to us why you choose this medium, why this material, this texture? ///

It’s more by habit, I’ve been using this paint since I was a child. But I don’t really have a predilection for oil painting specifically. I can change the technique, what matters to me is to paint. My concept in painting is about space, in 3 dimensions, time in 4 dimensions and I try to show all these dimensions on the 2D space that is the canvas.

For those who don’t have your paintings in front of them, or those who are listening to us, could you describe your compositions (in an aesthetic way)? In your work as a whole? And more in detail in your latest painting? ///

My latest project takes place in a “mirror room”

If everything around you is a reflection and a mise en abyme, what would be your feeling, your emotions?

My paintings are marked by perspective and numerous lines.  There is often a central object, in this case a metal sculpture. And the chromatic palette is organic, with dominant browns.

Now in a symbolic, sensitive way: what emotions are you trying to provoke in the viewer who looks at your work? ///

I often paint skulls. Why do I do this? Because it explains very well the notion of time: humans live and then die. That is life.

Finally, the lines are successive layers that deconstruct space. I don’t like the cubic idea, a roof, a floor, walls. There is not just one space in this painting but parallel worlds that overlap.


I am still a novice in quantum mechanics and I was not specially prepared to talk about Einstein’s theory of relativity…

Aya sees my eyes looking for help and reassures me with her vision of time: if space is infinite, time is unique. I am relieved… The big numbers make me dizzy.


Through your paintings, you say you evoke the trace of time, which marks a space.

The memory of a place, where all the moments that make up eternity come together in the divine and unique present. What exactly do they tell? ///

This is a space that remembers all the traces of what once existed there, what exists here now, and what will exist in the future. The traces are engraved here and will never disappear. Everything seems to exist at the same time. Here, the only existing matter is NOW, divine and eternal.However, there is nothing I can see. Vision seems to be insignificant. Therefore I will keep the memory of myself. It is impossible to understand time, space and even my own existence without memories.I am trying to visualize the structure of this memory in my paintings and installations.

Tree rings inside a tree represent the flow of time. It grows a new skin that will cover the bark you are seeing now. The bark in front of you will eventually become another layer, becoming a part of the inside of the tree.

In the same way, my memories will never be lost; they will remain inside me in layers. Even though the surface of the wood that I touched in the past may become hidden inside, the time and presence of my touch are inscribed in my memory and are still present.

We cannot understand time nor space with sight alone if we lack the memory that goes with it.

Things happened in the past, things happening now and things which will happen in the future will never disappear. Everything will leave its trace.

However one day I will certainly be gone. This is death.

What keeps me alive is my memory which cannot be seen in vision and even often vague. What I crave is to keep touching these memories.


Does the Gaswerk, as an artistic place, inspire you? In which way? ///

I’ve been working here for 2 years, it’s a very inspiring environment for sure but I need more time to see how and to what extent the Gaswerk influences my work.


Does the Japanese culture influence your work? ///

Do you try to escape from it, to assume it, or is it completely indifferent to you? ///

I can’t escape my identity: I am Japanese. But I am neither proud nor ashamed of it. It’s like that, my work is about something else than identity, so I don’t think that Japanese culture influences my work.

Could you name 3 artists you admire?

William Kentridge :  I simply like his paintings and he makes installation or video throw his paintings. This is what I wanna try to do now. Chiharu shiota She is quite strong, deep and pure. I like art works that I can see personal of the artist. Even too personally Rebecca Horn She is so intelligent. And she has her own special way to recognize space.

Do you work with the idea of series? ///

Yes, my paintings are all series, but I stop at 5, it must be said that the canvases are large.

Beyond that, I lose my freshness.


How does your work evolve over time, what is your main theme? How would you see your work evolving ? ///

I still see myself painting on this concept, but I would like to work more on installations, using organic materials like wood, stones.


Any news to share with us soon? ///

I’m participating in a group exhibition in August, with the other UDK graduates.

It will be multidisciplinary: performances, installations, painting… It will be great!

And I want to travel.


Thank you Aya Ando.

We can find your work on your instagram : @aya_m_r

On these last sentences, Aya flew to the Canary Islands. Another place, the same time. I guess it goes by faster there, since there is the sea and the sun.

And I wonder if Einstein’s equation E=MC2 also solves the question: why does a month’s holiday seem to go by faster than an hour of boring work?

Why this injustice in relativity?

Why does joy speed up time, and boredom slow it down?

Do these emotions have a mass that influences their gravitational field?

We can find your work on your instagram : @aya_m_r

©2023 Kapela


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