EGUCHI Ayane: Sugar-Coated Landscape

EGUCHI Ayane: Sugar-Coated Landscape


Hiro Hiro Art Space is pleased to collaborate with Mizuma Art Gallery on EGUCHI Ayane’s solo exhibition, Sugar-Coated Landscape, marking her debut in Taiwan. The show is on view from April 1st through May 7th, 2023.

The vast mountains seem frosted with pink icing; the waves crash on the chocolate candy-like rocks; the organisms’ nimble movements vibrate through the pastel forest…From the overall impression, the colorful and beautiful landscapes in EGUCHI Ayane’s paintings appear to be desserts, yet the close-ups interspersed with scenes of parasitism, putrefaction, decomposition, and destruction. The unsettling relationship of interdependence that often occurs in reality forms a “sugar-coated landscape” where cuteness and eeriness coexist.

EGUCHI Ayane / Glazed story / 2023 / Oil on canvas / 162 x 130.3 cm

EGUCHI Ayane’s works, underneath the surface of deliberate cuteness, reflect the inseparable duality in life. The recurring teddy bear character “KUMA” looks innocent and dreamy in their appearance, but pure cuteness does not exist. The relationship between organisms in the paintings is relevant to life, and death—growing/decaying, decomposing/nourishing, disintegrating/reviving. In her works, death is not the antithesis of life, but they mutually depend on and nourish, which echos her artistic techniques—first applying oil paints thickly, then scraping off some before drying, and building up the pigments again—interweaving “come” and “go” to create a seemingly fleshy texture, forming an infinite cycle of vigorous vitality.

Regarding the pursuit of fantasy, EGUCHI Ayane said, “I love fantasy stories such as Hayao Miyazaki’s movies and the Harry Potter series. At first glance, their worldview with magic and unique operating rules completely differs from ours. However, the more I understand those worlds, the more I realize they have the same hardships and sufferings as ours.” Just as the sugar coating of bitter medicine is not to make medicine taste good but to make it easier to swallow, the sugar coating on the surface of the world is not to thoroughly eliminate the bitterness of “death,” “disease,” and “all forms of discrimination,” it is the efforts of human beings to live a more pleasant life even in the face of inevitable sufferings, “I hope my paintings can become a source of nourishment for the viewer’s mind beyond the dimensions.” EGUCHI Ayane expected.


EGUCHI Ayane was born in Hokkaido, Japan in 1985 and received her M.A. degree from Kanazawa College of Art in 2011, majoring in oil painting. Her works have been exhibited in Taiwan, Japan, Philippines, Indonesia, Singapore, China, and the United States.

EGUCHI Ayane’s elaborate natural landscapes exude an overall impression of innocence through her iconic pastel palette. However, upon closer inspection, her paintings reveal treacherous scenarios, where the natural world appears mercurial and eerie. To achieve the fleshy, vivid texture of her works, she first applies multiple layers of oil paint across the canvas, removes some areas before the paint dries, then builds up others, ultimately creating her unique expression.

The recurring character of the teddy bear, “KUMA”, pronounced similar to “bear” in Japanese, represents something that lives and dies, and symbolizes the duality of reality. She is conscious of how seemingly innocent facades can conceal a darker reality, and more importantly, how everything is about life and death.