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Born in Tokyo in 1973, Aoyama completed his BA at Goldsmiths College, London in 1998 and his MA at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2002. Over the years, he has developed some highly original ideas and methods. He believes the black of thread is deeper than the black of any pigment and pursues that depth of blackness through the use of embroidery. It seems the understanding of shade, like the analysing of colour, is a significant process for his works. Speaking of colour, he creates his hues not as a result of mixing of pigments, as with painting, but by an assemblage of fine ‘Pointillistic’ stitches, like pixels on a computer monitor. Encountering his work, questions relating to his medium naturally came up for me. I asked him whether he dyes his own thread to get precise colours and about the limitation that embroidery imposes on colour expression. He says, “I haven’t dyed my own thread as there are many shades of ready-made thread available. I do sometimes feel a deficiency of colour gradation in thread but I can usually solve this problem by using different combinations of upper-thread and lower-thread in my sewing machine”. Although Aoyama’s work method to date has consisted of transferring photographs onto organdy and then embroidering over this foundation, he says using photos is just one of the possible methods of creating his kind of works and that he doesn’t intend to persist solely with this from now on.