A native of Tokyo, Satoru Aoyama was awarded a BA from Goldsmiths College, University of London before completing a master's degree at the School of the Art Institute in Chicago.

His deceptively simple portraits and landscapes defy the traditional pictorial limitations of embroidery. Working from photographs traced onto organza, Aoyama painstakingly builds up layer upon layer of intricate colored threads achieving supra-realist interpreatations of his subject matter.

At first glance, these works strike the viewer as glossy photographs. Only on closer inspection does the surface reveal its intimate secrets. The bumps, blemishes and imperfections of human skin are depicted with remarkable subtlety and nuance.

Aoyama's works are always of friends and family, each portrait takes several months to complete and requires a total intimacy with the subject.

Intense concentration on a small area can have strange effects and distort the wider perspective. It is a phenomenon familiar to many embroiderers and can skew an image, creatin a surreal or disturbing impression.

Polly Leonard and the Crafts Council - 2003