Spotting Aito the artist is not difficult, even amongst the throngs of people packed into the opening night of his first solo show at the Graffik Gallery. As a friend of mine described, he’s the Japanese guy in the suit and the biggest smile in the joint.
And smile he should, for an artist who has spent the past two years steadily making his name in London having moved over from Japan, he’s managed to put on a show featuring a large body of work and managed to attract a lot of interest. His aim is simple, to return to Japan having made his name and become the biggest street artist in the country.
Described by some as the Japanese Banksy, he himself cites the mysterious Bristolian as his main influence. The comparison seems to arise from the fact that Aito is predominentaly, a stencil artist and Banksy is also best known for his work within that medium. Of course it doesn’t hurt to be described as the Japanese equivalent of the World’s most famous vandal but the association is loose at best when one compares their respective bodies of work.
That shouldn’t take away from the show though, Aito has managed to pack the famous Graffik Gallery in Notting Hill with original works. It’s called ‘Mugenzikkou’, a Japanese proverb which roughly translates into ‘no talking, just do action’. For AITO, Mugenzikkou represents more than just the title of his show, it’s also the motto by which he lives. He told me, “when I was in Japan, everyone said it was impossible to become a famous street artist but here I am, I’ve become quite famous and I’ve got a solo show”.
It would appear that, as he stands here in the midst of the gallery on opening night, the concept of ‘no talking, just do action’ has proved to be more than just words and his dream of bringing street art to Japan and being the biggest name in his country might not be so far fetched at all.
Aito was interviewed at the opening of his show ‘Mugenzikkou’ at the Graffik Gallery in Notting Hill on Thursday 16th January 2014, the show will last at the Gallery until January 24th 2014 and a brochure of some of the art can be found here.