• Asian Contemporary Art (Day Sa auction at Christies

    Sale 2726

    Asian Contemporary Art (Day Sale)

    30 November 2009, Hong Kong

  • Lot 1535


    Price Realised  


    (B. 1964)
    PHOTON-^ (Radio contact); & PHOTON-^ (Astronautica)
    PHOTON-^ (Radio contact): signed 'Hiroyuki Matsuura' in English; dated '2009.9.17' (on the reverse). PHOTON-^ (Astronautica): signed 'Hiroyuki Matsuura' in English; dated '2009.9.16' (on the reverse)
    one acrylic on canvas with hologram film; one acrylic on canvas
    each: 162 x 162 cm. (63 3/4 x 63 3/4 in.)
    Painted in 2009 (2)

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    The imagery of Hiroyuki Matsuura's works is a poignant expression of contemporary society's inevitable escape to the digital realm when reality disappoints, turning towards its sympathetic characters for companionship and understanding. This forced integration stemming from one's inability to responsibly face the issues of everyday life has increasingly blended a fantastical, technology related personality with a 'human' one, as addressed in PHOTON-^ (Radio contact) and PHOTON-^ (Astronautica) (Lot 1535). Matsuura uses a child's fascination with space as the theme of these two works. "Photons" were present when the universe was created and are symbolic of the hope and future of the children who dream of adventuring into outer space. Matsuura has found that more than language, animated characters have sparked greater communication between people. As such, the future of communication is visual. Matsuura's use of hologram film in PHOTON-^ (Radio contact) creates an illusion of telepathic communication with people of the future; he tightly holds headphones against his ears as he converses with outer space. The helmeted figure of PHOTON-^ (Astronautica) is deeply enamored with discovering the futuristic possibilities of space. Though rendered with the brilliant colors often seen in anime, Matsuura's compositions should be considered for their subtle commentary on the inability of this generation to distinguish themselves from a digital world.

    The manga influenced, compact composition of Scorpion (Lot 1537) and Box Man (Lot 1536) reminds the viewer that such imagery originated in a two-dimensional, print form. The menacing expression of two 'superheroes' shows them as ambiguous righteous or as an evil persona. Slowly that boundary is dissolving as numerous people take pleasure in taking on personas of surreal characters, finding refuge in their identity and create factitious communities filled with people similar to themselves. With this knowledge in mind, the boys in Scorpion (Lot 1536) and Box Man (Lot 1537) are suggestive of young males in their alternative guise. The dark black outline bordering smooth, saturated colors and magnified perspective show Matsuura's combined style of graphic arts and comics. Because the figures are not shown in their entirety, the viewer in essence infiltrates the physical space of the figure, searching the eyes of the man behind the masked disguise and creating a contextual narrative that extends beyond the four corners of the canvas.

    Windy BunnyYellow (Lot 1635) is three-dimensional evidence that these animated characters of Matsuura are no longer a figment of our imagination. Windy Bunny is considered by Matsuura to be one of his most important creations as it intertwines features of fine art and figurines. At this instant, that fabricated world is manifested as an affable and cute anthropomorphized rabbit, again painted with highly reflective acrylic paints, emphasizing that she/he is a product of a futuristic process. Its size and shape is similar to that of a young child and is suggestive that one day such customized figurines may soon replace those of a human child. The wide-eyed look of fascination and lack of expression is mechanical, as if mass manufactured like anime books and magazines.