On view as of yesterday, Galerie Perrotin is exhibiting Japanese artist Makoto Aida’s first major exhibition in Hong Kong. The show presents some of his most well-known artwork, in addition to experimental new pieces with the loose theme of metamorphosis. There are different interpretations of the world’s changes in recent years, from politics to global warming. At the center of it all is his new sculpture “Space Tripper 1455” (lovingly called “Comet-chan”). According to Aida, she is an alien relieving herself while passing over Earth, while transforming into a beautiful human girl. In her hands is the Bible which she uses for toilet paper. Aida is no stranger to pushing buttons; some of his most controversial paintings are on display, such as “A Picture of an Air Raid on New York City (War Picture Returns)” and “Jumble of 100 Flowers”, made in various styles.
In our 2012 interview, Aida labeled himself as a “rebel” who makes commentaries on society through his art. On this show, he shares, ” I have a habit of placing human beings in a thought experiment that represents an extreme situation. To me, these are the two polarities when it comes to examining the human condition. And so I wanted to confront the audience with these two extremes on one floor”. It is an interesting time for Aida to be exhibiting in Hong Kong, high with tension as thousands of pro-Democracy student protestors have taken to the streets. Aida’s art is meant to be entertainment for the undiscriminating masses and plea for world peace- while the young people outside sing a not so different tune.