“2 and 3, or the Rest (she and I)”

  • Installation veiw at Aichi Triennale 2019

    "2 and 3, or the Rest (she and I)" 2019

    Photo: Ito Tetsuo

The black contour lines in each item in the "2 and 3, or the Rest (She and I)" series were not added by drawing onto printed photographs, but they were drawn with a pen around the subjects of the respective photos before shooting. Combined with the smooth lighting, this makes the photographs instantly look like paintings. The title hints at the presence of two human figures, and through sceneries and other motifs that include those contour lines, the works inspire the viewer to imagine situations of two people whose gazes mingle as both are looking at the same thing.
The "Laundry" series consists of items hung up with clothespins, depicted here as flat color planes. Even upon closer inspection, there isn't the slightest unevenness of textile surfaces, and the pictures are in fact photographs of actual sheets of printed paper fixed with clothespins. The way the artist inserts two-dimensional spaces into what look like photographs of three-dimensional objects may cause a certain sense of discomfort that prompts you to look hard at these pictures time and time again.
The contour lines work as elements that clearly separate and highlight the depicted objects from their respective environments. In the realm of painting, such lines have been employed by numerous artists such as Van Gogh, Cézanne, Rouault and Sesshu, and many a viewer may also be familiar with similar techniques from cel animation. The parts of flat color planes integrated into images of three-dimensional subjects appear as if operations of composing or arranging pictures using image editing software have been reconstructed in the real, physical world. The works in both of these series challenge our visual perception of things.


  • Born 1991 in Hyogo, Japan
  • Based in Aichi, Japan

Ishiba Ayako graduated with a master's degree in Oil Painting and Printmaking from Aichi University of the Arts. By intervening only slightly in otherwise straightforward shots of commonplace daily items, she creates photographic pieces that engender a sense of visual incongruity and unease. In recent work, she has photographed objects partially outlined in black pen, exploring the flaws in human perception that result in the illusion of a partially flat space. Precisely because Ishiba manipulates her subjects in such minuscule ways, the viewer receives the impression that the space has been distorted, and experiences an awkward sense of unease. Like trompe-l'œil paintings, the effect of her works is easy to comprehend once the trick has been deciphered, getting to the heart of the inherent qualities of the photography medium, which fictitiously reproduces the reality of the 3D world in two dimensions.

Selected Works & Awards

2019 VOCA 2019, The Ueno Royal Museum, Tokyo, Japan, VOCA Encouragement Prize
2018 Pop-up Dimension, Kodama Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
2018 The Blur in Photographs, KANAZAWA ART GUMMI, Ishikawa, Japan


Aichi Prefectural Museum of Art (10F)


Aichi Arts Center 10F
1-13-2 Higashisakura,Higashi-ku, Nagoya
461-8525 JAPAN


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・5 minutes on foot from Sakae Station on the Higashiyama Subway Line or Meijo Subway Line.
・5 minutes on foot from Sakae-Machi Station on the Meitetsu Seto Line.