abstract artist RYOKO GOTO

Artist Statement --> 日本語

The themes of her work often come from things and events in her daily life that strongly move her. Therefore, most of her works are born from her very personal experiences. She believes that if she extracts a feeling or atmosphere from these experiences and creates a work of art, it will resonate with something in someone. Even though each of us has various cultural backgrounds from different countries, she, as an artist, and the people who appreciate my works are both "human beings" biologically, so the signs of what moved her should resonate in someone's soul. She believes this because that is exactly when she is moved by art, movies, and novels.

Whether it is an oil painting, a drawing, or a video work, she always tries to express the “sense (or presence)” that she feels.


What is she influenced by the most? 

She was greatly influenced by the New York School, an activist group of abstract expressionism that created a great sensation in the 50s in New York. At the age of 18, she admired an exhibition focusing on the New York School, which awakened my interest in abstract expression. Her drawings were also largely influenced by an exhibition of drawings by Japanese artist Saburo Aso(1913-2000), which she appreciated at the age of 19.


Why did she move to NY?

Many of the walls in New York are beautifully degraded and I admire that kind of historical, aged texture. She believes that the artists of the New York School unconsciously developed their sense of style through those walls. That is one of the reasons she decided to move to New York. She wanted to acquire that sense herself.


Why is her style abstract?

In Japan, where she was born and raised, many people do not have a sense of belonging to a particular religion. However, Buddhism and Shinto are quietly present and rooted in their everyday life. Although there is not much traditional culture left in Tokyo, where she grew up, many people still go to shrines on New Year's to pray for the health of their families, and when someone past away, he or she is buried in a Buddhist graveyard, and on the anniversary of their death, those who remain behind go to the grave to lay their hands. Her grandparents, parents, and relatives raised her to cherish everything because they believed every single object in the universe has a soul. She does not believe in spirituality, but she has developed a sense of sensing invisible signs throughout my life in Japan. Therefore abstract expressionism fits her senses perfectly.


Why does she make art?

She showed her interest in art at early age and soon found her in an art prep school aspiring to be a stage designer for theater arts.

During the school years she became more engrossed in its amusement of oil painting and since then she has determined to be a painter. Around the same time she encountered the works of abstract expressionists such as Japanese artist Aso Saburo(1913-2000), one of the leading figures in Japanese abstract art movement, and the New York School of the 50's which later had a great influence on her painting style.


After graduating Musashino Art University Junior College of Art and Design, she was away from any creative work as she felt like she was lost over the concept of “art school” and “art” itself. The death of her close friend brought her back to the art creation reassuring that art is indispensable to her, and she started over her career as an artist at age of 31.