Akio Onishi -persona-

July 7 (Fri) – 30 (Sun), 2023

N project

N project is pleased to present -persona-, a solo exhibition by Akio Onishi, from July 7(Fri) to July 30(Sun), 2023.

Akio Onishi (b. 1996) graduated from the Faculty of Design of Kyoto Seika University and is currently based in Tokyo. While working in the timeless genre of portraiture, he skillfully incorporates the anonymity of contemporary society and the visual imagery of consumed objects into his work, creating paintings and video works that allude to the loneliness inherent in a communication-deprived world.

Persona is titled after the concept proposed by Swiss psychiatrist Carl Gustav Jung (1875-1961), which describes the external face an individual presents that is different from their true self, a kind of mask that corresponds to the roles they are expected to fulfill in society. The exhibition will showcase an installation of new paintings, as well as a video installation reminiscent of a hypothetical persona that refers to the artist’s own upbringing.

Akio Onishi, 0 #14, 2023
Akio Onishi, 0 #16, 2023

Onishi starts off his creative process by printing out freely accessible photographs of various people from the internet. He then adds random creases to the images by hand, photographs them, projects them onto a computer monitor, and finally, turns them into canvas paintings. The artist does not depict identifiable subjects—instead, he deliberately obscures visual characteristics like gender and nationality before bringing the figures to life on canvas.

The subjects all face away from the viewer, whether by looking up, closing their eyes, or turning downwards. This recurring compositional choice hints at the cultural habits of modern-day Japanese people, who avoid eye contact and direct their gaze toward smartphones, an increasingly integral part of their daily lives. Onishi takes these figures, stripped of their recognizable features, and presents them as a cohesive installation, paradoxically exposing human nature as observed in contemporary society.

Akio Onishi -persona-



July 7 (Fri) – 30 (Sun), 2023 Weekday 10:00-17:00 Saturday 11:00-18:00 *Closed on July 15 Closed on Sundays and National Holidays *Opened on July 30 (11:00-18:00)