Yukari Motoyama

This World, A Receptacle

March 13 - April 16, 2022

“This World, A Receptacle”


Yutaka Kikutake Gallery is pleased to present Yukari Motoyama’s exhibition, “This World, A Receptacle”, from March 13 to April 16, 2022. This marks the artist’s second solo presentation with the gallery, and will showcase a selection of works from her latest “Plate” series that feature numbers as their motif.


In recent years, Motoyama has concentrated her efforts towards her “Drawing Paper” series in which the base (picture plane) and figure (painted subject) are painted on transparent acrylic board and presented in an inverted manner, as well as the “Ghost in Cloth” series where different colored fabrics are joined together to form a support, upon which still life motifs are embroidered through a kilting technique while also incorporating the wrinkles and twists of the cloth as the work. Through these endeavors it is possible to observe the artist’s attempts in disassembling and reconstructing the various elements that make up painting and the very act of viewing works of art.


Presented on this occasion, Motoyama’s latest series “Plate” is a work in which numbers are sculpted into wooden support mediums that maintain their grain. Numbers exist everywhere in the world and are symbols that serve to support various structures. Motoyama mentions having developed an interest in the physical background of numbers, such as the way in which the decimal system was derived from the number of human fingers. This can also be understood from the statement below.


When I heard the lyrics “when I tap this pocket then there are two biscuits”*, I imagined the sight of a biscuit breaking. “The more you tap, the more biscuits in the pocket”* –what I envisioned was the a biscuit being tapped, broken in half, then halved again, and eventually crumbling to pieces. Here, each piece is an individual “biscuit.” While they are no longer “one” as had been at first, they are all biscuits and can be counted as one, two, and so on.  

*The Magic Pocket, Lyrics: Michio Mado

 Yukari Motoyama




The title of this exhibition, “This World, A Receptacle” derives from a certain destiny that is imposed upon human beings. That is, the fact that it is extremely difficult for us to perceive things simply for what they are in this world we live in, instead only rendering it possible for us to experience and preserve things in our memory through means of symbolization using our senses. On the one hand, the works in this exhibition re-contextualizes “the number as symbol” in an organic manner through the intersection between the grains of the wood and numbers depicted, and thus physically appeals to the viewer’s sight. As such, the artist appears to pose questions regarding our relationship with signs and symbols.


Motoyama's works thus far can be recognized as an attempt to symbolize and re-present art history, the structure of paintings, and everyday presences. However, what is consistent throughout, including this latest series, is an attempt to convey the raw vividness of the human hand while transforming it into something amorphous, and at the same time eliminating as much as possible the homogeneity and distributiveness / exchangeability that are the main elements of symbols within her process of symbolization. From this it is possible to capture a glimpse of the procedure of converting symbols into things that expand and come apart, rather than compressing them as information.


Latest works from the “Plate” series are also on view in the exhibition, “The Vision of Contemporary Art 2022,” held at the Ueno Royal Museum from March 11 to 30, 2022.


Yukari Motoyama was born in 1992 in the Aichi Prefecture. She received an M.F.A in Oil Painting from the Graduate School of Fine Arts, Kyoto City University of Arts in 2017. She currently lives and works in Kyoto. Her recent exhibitions include, “The coin rings because there are two of them” (Culture Forum Kasugai, Gallery, 2021, solo exhibition), “From the museum collection 2020: third period” (Aichi Prefectural Museum of Art, 2020, group exhibition), “The doorway (hole, cliff)” (Yutaka Kikutake Gallery, 2019, solo exhibition), “Here and beyond” (Aomori Contemporary Art Center, 2017, group exhibition), and “Uragoe de Uta-e” (Oyama City Kurumayama Museum of Art, 2017, group exhibition).