own pace

aaploit is pleased to present own pace, a solo exhibition by Aoi Michimata from September 1 (Fri) to September 24 (Sun). Michimata is studying Woodblock printing at the graduate school of Musashino Art University.

Kafka’s Staircase, which she created during her undergraduate days, was proposed by Takeshi Ikuta, a social activist and writer, who referred to the novelist Franz Kafka’s “Letter to My Father.

Lose your job. Lose your address. Such things are like going down a flight of stairs, but once you are on the street, the stairway back to your former life has very high steps. In “Letter to My Father,” Kafka wrote that due to excessive pressure from his father, he had to climb a staircase with five times the steps of others, which he could not climb even with his best efforts. He said that it is like a staircase that stands like a wall for a person in the field to get an address, get a job, and secure money until payday.

Referring to such concepts, the Kafka’s Staircase shown by Michimata expresses the unreasonableness of life as felt by her generation.

In the same way, is not each staircase different from the others in a society that is supposed to ascend stairs?

Should those who are unaware that they are stepping down a staircase, those who have abandoned the idea of stepping up a staircase, and those who have abandoned the idea of stepping up a staircase, all be required to step up a staircase?

Kafka's Staircase, 2023, AOI MICHIAMTA
Kafka’s Staircase, 2023, AOI MICHIAMTA

Michimata asks these questions through her works. Although her works deal with contemporary themes such as those found in Toyoko Kids, at first glance her works have the atmosphere of a picture book, and the gap between the depth of the themes she deals with reminds us of the steps of a staircase.

Being expected to climb stairs. When you want to be yourself, what does the stairway to career advancement look like?
Will it be in exchange for humanity?

In today’s Japanese society, where it is becoming harder and harder to age in unison, Michimata’s questions will be relevant not only to young people of her generation, but also to baby boomers and those in important positions in companies.

It is an appeal to use stairs as various situations that are not necessarily applicable to all people.

This exhibition will feature the Kafka’s Staircase series and a new series of works. We hope you will take this opportunity to view Aoi Michimata’s solo exhibition.

Dates: Friday, September 1, 2023 – Sunday, September 24, 2023
Opening hours: Fri: 15:00 – 19:00, Sat: 13:00 – 19:00, Sun: 13:00 – 17:00
Venue: Contemporary Art aaploit 2-19-2 Suido, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo Admission free
Please make a reservation for other days during the exhibition period.


Aoi Michimata

Born in Hokkaido, Japan, he graduated from Musashino Art University in 2023 and is currently studying printmaking at the same graduate school.

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