Maho Haruna, STEP

aploit is pleased to present STEP, a solo exhibition of new paintings and new drawings by Maho Haruna from August 4 (Fri) to August 27 (Sun). This is the artist’s first solo exhibition with aaploit.

Haruna graduated from Tohoku University of Art & Design’s Western painting course in March 2023, and is currently based in Okayama, Japan.

a full scale hole, 2023, Maho Haruna
a full scale hole, 2023, Maho Haruna

In this exhibition, “a full scale hole” and the latest works, “My Reality” will be exhibited. A Full Scale Hole” presents five works in various sizes, ranging from 910 x 727 mm (35.83 x 28.62 inches) to 1,940 x 1,303 mm (76.38 x 51.3 inches).

The large work shows a large blue oval circle on the screen. The circle in the foreground has a large break in it, and its movement and color give the impression of a wave. The black lines moving up and down the screen look like branches, and the blue circle looks like a tree leaf or an ice tree. Confronting Haruna’s works, in which we find various forms, we feel as if we are touching the collective unconscious. It is as if she is conducting an experiment and showing us the results.

a full scale hole, 2023, Maho Haruna

In Haruna’s words, “I wanted to paint air, but air is invisible, so I painted holes”.

The oil on canvas of this work is predominantly yellow, with a dark purple streak in the center that looks like a spine. When you get closer, you can see that there is a lump of paint on top of the streak, and there is actually a hole in the canvas. The ground of the canvas is visible in places, but the yellow paint, which remains faintly, seems to have been scraped off. Heaped with paint, she literally dug a hole, revealing a hole.

Maho Haruna’s studio

The abstract paintings created by Haruna, she says, depict air. However, since air is invisible, she borrows the form of a concrete object. That is what she means by a hole. She points out that the way she honestly faces and creates her paintings makes her feel, in the words of her former teacher, “as if she were standing in front of an art student from half a century ago”.

She emptied herself and waved her brush mindlessly. Without drafts or concepts, the body moves by feeling the atmosphere of the place. The body receives information from the environment, and the brush is waved mindlessly, and there, a painting is created. This is what Haruna calls the ideal work of art.

We invite you to view her work, which is reminiscent of the return of the Gutai Art Association.

For inquiries about the artworks or the exhibition, please email

Dates: Friday, August 4, 2023 – Sunday, August 27, 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.


Maho Haruna

Born in Okayama, Japan, she graduated from Tohoku University of Art & Design in 2023. While in school, she studied Western-style painting. Her graduation works won an award of excellence and is in the collection of a local company. Born in 2000.