In 1990 even though she was still a student, Yasuko Toyoshima made a breathtaking debut at the Art Today Complex Technology Period Art Restoration exhibition at the Karuizawa Takanawa Gallery (now the Seson Contemporary Art Gallery) by exhibiting two unique works, an examination mark sheet that she had filled in by pencil in all but the actual places for filling in the answers, and a 180 meter cylindrical Endless Abacus.
Since then she has been presenting works which force the viewer to think about systems, and regulations which we are forced to use unconsciously in everyday life. The materials she has used include everyday objects such as pencils, rulers, bank transfer cards, etc and she has used methods for distorting them just enough to make them unusable, for example by heating a ruler so that it bends and distorts the markings. Through these methods these pieces, whilst being difficult to understand in a conceptual mode, are also humorous, very likeable and even cute. In recent years she has been receiving a lot of praise in the art world as an artist with a unique and interesting mode of expression in contemporary art.
Her works are founded on fundamental ideas about expression, and she regards these ideas not as something which is unique to artists, but as universal ideas and that everyone has the desire for expression and that we should express ourselves. Some good examples of this are her works in which she displays forms from banks for opening accounts as examples of how we are defined by others in the space allotted to us in banking systems, and in Fishing Float in which she uses as a float to emphasise the existence of fish and how they are under threat.
In the CAS exhibition we plan to exhibit a mix of her hidden works, based on her works from 1996, the ruler series and video works which are based on the bank forms for Opening Accounts and Mini Investment. Also we plan a workshop called Paying In so that people can actually experience and relate to these works.