Hiroyuki MATSUURA: SUPER ACRYLIC SKIN—Quiet World

ESLITE GALLERY is pleased to present a Hiroyuki Matsuura solo exhibition, “SUPER ACRYLIC SKIN—Quiet World,” from 05 September to 04 October 2020, featuring canvas works, prints, sculptures, works on paper as well as limited edition soft-vinyl figures by the versatile artist. This marks Matsuura’s first solo exhibition in Taiwan in 12 years.

  • Exhibition Period:5 September – 4 October 2020
  • Address:ESLITE GALLERY ∣ B1, No. 88, Yanchang Rd., Xinyi Dist., Taipei City 110055, Taiwan

“‘Characters’ are imaginary yet real beings. Think for a moment of a world without them, how lonely would many feel? This is proof of their existence.” Before anime became a prominent art genre, Hiroyuki Matsuura had already begun creating “characters” twenty years ago. Drawing from childhood recollections of animation and soft vinyl toys, he invents “characters” as a second human species and names them “Super Acrylic Skin.” He often uses “characters” to express a universal human condition. For instance, the tryptic The Nornir-Trigonal Clone shows Norse mythical goddesses with duplicated facial expressions and stunned eyes to portray a tenacious but also superstitious world, and the pervading sense of helplessness amongst today’s Japanese youths. In The End of Beginning is a dark hero about whom Matsuura explains, “In this new era we do not need obedient heroes, but those who sustain their faith even in times of darkness.” THE APPLE, which comes in canvas, sculpture and figurine versions, refers to the “forbidden fruit,” which has been a symbol of “love” and “health” since ancient times but now has become synonymous to “technology.” Here Matsuura asks, “What is your Apple?”

As the world comes to a halt due to COVID-19 in 2020, Matsuura said he was for a while overwhelmed by a feeling of powerlessness. “It dawned on me that I had always thought of my works as manifestations of personal feelings, but in truth I am influenced by time, and that my works are tied to my family, friends, the society and the world we live in.” A series of works then arose from his determination to paint in a “Quiet World.” Many works are marked by time, containing elements rarely seen thus far in his practice. His new “Super Acrylic Skin” characters are gazing straight at the future, and in their unwavering gaze, is Matsuura’s faith in the new world.

The aesthetics of the younger generation, particularly in Asian popular culture, is often characterized by brightly colored images, changing visual effects with a penchant for fantasy found in animation and comic books. Once a graphic designer, Japanese artist Hiroyuki MATSUURA later decided to devote himself to fine art out of a natural desire to create works based solely on his own ideas. His art is known for animation forms, colorfulness and a touch of dark humor. Using “characters” as his subject, he imbues storytelling into his paintings while, by only partially showing the subject in terms of composition, to allow the viewer freely roam in boundless imagination. Like animation or virtual fantasies, MATSUURA believes his “characters” are a visual image that transcends language and can be understood universally by adults, children, men and women.