Born in 1994 in Oita Prefecture, where she is currently based, Shiori Tono completed her MA in Arts and Design at Onomichi City University, specializing in oil painting. In her work, Tono draws from her childhood photo albums and photographs she has taken herself, deftly expressing the fragility and preciousness of those fleeting recollections that come to us in unexpected moments. Our memories are obliterated through the day-to-day accumulation of information in our minds—at times, abstracted or fragmented. Tono engages with these universal experiences, skillfully depicting the ambiguous nature of memory on canvas as warped and deteriorating images, often imitating the distortion apparent in old digital files. The specific years in which the original photos were taken vary: the more obscure the memory, the more fractured the painted image becomes, making it increasingly difficult to make out any figures clearly. Although most memories are eventually lost, Tono carefully gathers the fragments that still remain in her mind, resurrecting them square by square on a three-centimeter-by-three-centimeter grid. Using masking tape to create a lattice in which every other line is exposed, the process of layering oil paint from one end of the canvas to the other is an act of proving the existence of the artist herself.
Tono’s recent solo exhibitions include あって ない / Atte nai, MAKI Gallery (Tokyo, 2022); fragments of memory, MASAHIRO MAKI GALLERY* (Tokyo, 2020); and Anohino, Gallery Bar Baku (Hiroshima, 2018). She has also participated in multiple group exhibitions, primarily in Tokyo. In 2023, the artist marked her North American debut at The Armory Show, where her work garnered significant attention.
※renamed MAKI Gallery in June 2020