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Artist Aiko Robinson To Present First Solo Exhibition With Gow Langsford Gallery

Gow Langsford Gallery will present I Stain My Heart with Thoughts of You so Resistant, an exhibition of new work by Aiko Robinson. This is the Perth-based artist’s first solo exhibition with Gow Langsford since joining the roster of represented artists last year.

“Aiko is an exciting younger artist, and we are thrilled to work with her. A first solo showing is a great moment for artist and gallery alike - we are looking forward to showcasing her prodigious talent.”

Gary Langsford, Director – Gow Langsford Gallery:

Robinson’s detailed work engages with Shunga, a playfully erotic Japanese art form that was prevalent from the 1600s through to the 1800s. She has responded to this historical art form, adapting its modalities to a contemporary context. Her unique practice draws on traditional printmaking and ink on paper techniques while adopting contemporary colour-schemes and content. The content is unambiguously sexual, though some of the more explicit content evident in Robinson’s earlier work has been pared back. This is not to shy away from the erotic – which is central to the conceptual positioning of Robinson’s practice.

“Aiko creates artworks that are historically nuanced yet vividly contemporary. She engages with traditional Japanese techniques, creating work that is technically sophisticated, and richly informed.”

Anna Jackson, Director – Gow Langsford Gallery:

The works presented in I Stain My Heart with Thoughts of You so Resistant demonstrate Robinson’s conceptual framework. A key aspect of this is the translation of traditional Japanese techniques into a contemporary western context. Japanese woodblock printing has had a notable influence on western art, perhaps most famously in the case of Hokusai’s The Great Wave off Kanagawa, which influenced some of the work of Claude Monet and Vincent Van Gogh. This long history of influence is very much present in her work – Robinson studied in Auckland and then Tokyo, and has adapted some aspects of traditional woodblock printing into her contemporary art practice.

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Shunga itself is an art form with a rich historical tradition. The artist has stated, “Historical Shunga reflects the acceptance or celebration of sex in Shinto culture, and values love, mutual pleasure, and equality between sexual partners. Shunga, which literally translates to ‘spring pictures’ is also positively associated with the season of fertility and new life. I am interested in how these idealised visions of the Shunga artist might compare to prevailing ideas regarding pornography in contemporary society.” While contemporary pornography is contextually relevant to her work, Robinson’s images are playful and joyous – celebrations of human intimacy rather than gratuitous portrayals of sex. The artist has created artworks that engage with historic source material, while navigating contemporary themes of intimacy, consent, gender, and sexual politics.

“While the content of some of these works is erotic, viewers will pretty quickly understand Aiko’s intentions. Her works are quite stunning, both in their detailed artistry and the clear view of human intimacy that she presents.”

John Gow, Director – Gow Langsford Gallery:

Robinson has New Zealand and Japanese heritage. She completed a BFA at Elam School of Fine Art in Auckland and a Masters at Tokyo University of the Arts. Subsequently, she has based herself in Perth, Australia. Gow Langsford Gallery has represented her work since 2023.

I Stain My Heart with Thoughts of You so Resistant runs from Wednesday May 8th through to Saturday June 1st at Gow Langsford’s city premises on Kitchener Street. An opening event will take place on the evening of Tuesday May 7th. Contact Gow Langsford Gallery for further details.

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