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The 5th “1_WALL” Graphics Competition Grand Prize Winner

Ryohei Saito "This is a picture"

  • DATES : Mon. June 4 - Thu. June 21, 2012
  • HOURS : 11:00a.m.-7:00p.m.
  • Closed Sundays. Admission free.

Why view works in a gallery?

Ryohei Saito won the Grand Prize in the 5th “1_WALL” Graphics Competition for his “scribblings,” accompanied by words, drawn by ballpoint pen. His nonsensical humorous works and the odd way he displayed them, on long rolls suggestive of toilet paper, made the viewer question, “Is this art?” One judge admired what he described as Saito’s works’ “delightful and carefully executed balance between entertainment and affectation.” Another applauded Saito’s display method, saying it was both “totally unprecedented and perfect for his graphic style.”

Saito has always drawn whatever happens to come to mind, but how he displays his accumulated works is carefully conceived. For the 5th “1_WALL” Graphics Competition, he says his aim was to create works and a method of displaying them that would bring a smile to the faces of those who saw them, making them fun even for people with no interest in art.

For his very first solo exhibition, Saito shifted his focus to the act of visiting the gallery to see his works. He attempts to display his works in a way that can be experienced only by those who enter the physical space of the gallery – an experience not possible by browsing through a book of collected works or looking at works posted on the internet. Visitors are eagerly invited to come see how Saito will display his two-dimensional works in the gallery’s three-dimensional space.

Saito will be showing his portfolio of previously created ballpoint pen drawings as well as all-new oil paintings. Visitors will surely enjoy what they see.

Ryohei Saito

Awards 2012 Selected for The wonder seeds 2012 competition 2011 The 5th “1_WALL” Graphic...

Message from the Artist

When holding a solo exhibition, it’s enough just to show the works one has made. But this wasn’t how I wanted to approach my show. My drawings are no bigger than A4 size notebook paper. What I want is to create a space that will give even a modicum of “meaning” to the act of going downtown to visit a gallery.

Ryohei Saito


Message from One of the Judges

What makes Saito’s works so appealing is their depth of suspicion. It isn’t skepticism or derision directed at others, however. It’s feelings of doubt toward pictures, toward humor, toward the arts, toward communication, and toward Saito himself. It’s because he approaches his creative act with such fundamental doubts that Saito’s works have such inexplicable power of attraction. I’m eager to keep an eye peeled to see what Saito, saddled with his doubts, suspicions and awkward sincerity, will create in the years ahead.

Atsuki Kikuchi (art director)


The 5th “1_WALL” Graphics Exhibition
2August 22 (Mon) – September 15 (Thu), 2011
Final judging session (open to the public): September 2 (Fri), 2011
Ryohei Saito was selected to receive the Grand Prize by the following panel of judges (listed in Japanese syllabary order):

Ichio Otsuka (illustrator, art director)
Atsuki Kikuchi (art director)
Kenjiro Sano (art director)
Kaoru Takai (art director)
Kiyonori Muroga (editor-in-chief of “IDEA” magazine)

Information on the 5th “1_WALL” Graphics Exhibition

Organizer: Guardian Garden