signed, inscribed and dated ‘SHINY No. 125 2014.10.21.’ (lower right)
oil on canvas
60.5 x 60.5 cm. (23 7/8 x 23 7/8 in.)
Painted in 2014
Hillside Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
Private collection, Asia (acquired from the above by the present owner)
Sale room notice
Please note that the Chinese name of the artist for Lot 477 is incorrectly stated in the printed catalogue. Please refer to for the correct name of the artist in Chinese.

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Sylvia Cheung
Sylvia Cheung

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Lot Essay

Shinya Sato was born to a family of electricians in Japan's Fukuoka prefecture. He vowed to become a painter after coming across Dalí's paintings at a young age, and he chose to enter the workforce as soon as he graduated high school in order to save up to attend art school in the United Kingdom. Due to financial constraints, he was ultimately unable to enter the school of his choice, so instead he spent a month travelling across Europe. He visited museums all over the continent viewing all the masterpieces he could, all the while repeatedly questioning his resolve to become an artist. In the end his determination grew, and he decided to pursue the challenging path of a career as a painter, traveling to the United States to further broaden his horizons.

This period of uncertainty came to an end in a regional dive bar, when he heard the performance of a singer. Sato was brought to tears by this singer's youthful voice, and his long-held self-imposed senses of vanity, self-pity, and self-constraints were washed away, replaced with an unprecedented sense of freedom. He realised that personality cannot be forced, instead it must come naturally; a true work of art must come from the distillation of one's belief, possibly only after a ceaseless process of questioning oneself and then refining it to the next level.

To Sato, the key to creativity is to follow one's inner eye, to paint what one truly wishes to paint. Having been interested in astrophysics, flora and fauna, and the natural sciences from a young age, Sato was moved to explore the worldview implied by quantum mechanics. He believed that the nature of all matter is ultimately naught, and that humanity only exists inside a world of our imagination. Therefore, outside our heart, there is no reality, and Man has the power to turn imagination into reality. By illustrating his own utopia, the artist shows us humankind's infinite capacity to imagine, as well as the awe-inspiring splendor of the world.

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