A Letter to Laura

October 13, 2020
A Letter to Laura

To Laura, whom I love and respect.


Dear Laura, your glass works sum up your character— soft, graceful, intellectual yet tantalizing. The way that the light transforms the colors is ingenious and their textures possesses a warmth that makes you want to reach out and touch it. The palettes that you employed in your tablet series seem to reflect the border between water and land in your hometown, Venice. 

You have changed my world completely. 

In the past I had never felt an affinity with glass as a material, but your work projects light, as if on a screen, they are abstract, and the light possesses a quiet dignity that has remained with me since the first time I saw it. You absorb the cultures of the world, particularly that of Japan, to the extent that you referred to it as ‘your spiritual home’. When you first visited Japan in 1997 you said that it possessed ‘A subtlety that can be seen overwhelming in its extreme perfection’ and in 1999 you gave birth to this tablet series. You were able to comprehend the philosophical concept of ‘nothingness’ and appreciate Japanese architecture, this, alongside your family heritage, allowed for your unrivaled glass work. Your Tokyo-ga series is suggestive of two-dimensional Japanese architectural elements. From translucent paper screens, tatamifloor mats, to decorated paper or cloth sliding doors, you combined in your glass work with an impression of light through handmade paper or even the bright neon signs of 1980s Tokyo, masterfully fusing the disparate worlds of Venice and Tokyo.

I will never forget you walking barefoot over the tatami mats of an old house in Kyoto. You moved to gracefully, like a duck swimming in water, using your entire body and immersing yourself in the moment. The time I shared with you was some of the happiest I have known. When we talked about movies and music, when you found that fragment of old fabric at the shop in Kyoto, when you were searching for some velvet slippers in at a shop in Venice and when we shared a delicious meal. I began looking at things through your eyes and I was thrilled to discover a new idea of beauty. Working together with you to produce your exhibition in 2014, I felt very nervous, but it filled my soul with satisfaction. This happiness and connection felt one of a kind and special to me and I would like to say, ‘thank you Laura’. 

When Ippodo Gallery moved to out new location in October 2019, you were the first I told. I dreamed of holding your exhibition here. In your email of October 4 you wrote ‘Brava’ and included the photograph you wanted to send to me in New York.

Laura, I wish we could have spent more time together. I wish I could continue to witness your artistry and experience your warmth. I want to look deeper into this world through your eyes. 


This exhibition is dedicated to you. 

Shōko Aono

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Shoko Aono

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