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Quiet World

Hiroyuki Matsuura


In today’s world “characters” have become as influential as people in real life. I invent “characters” as a second human species with the name “Super Acrylic Skin.” My inspiration springs from childhood recollections of animation and soft vinyl toys. “Characters” hadn’t always been considered art, but they are something that those in my generation are intimately familiar with. It was precisely because “characters” hadn’t been fully ingrained in art that I found it fascinating to express myself through them. 


“Characters” as a motif are now increasingly common in art, but they were not so popular thirteen years ago. ESLITE GALLERY understood my works and showed them in a solo exhibition. This makes my second collaboration with ESLITE, twelve years later in its new space, all the more meaningful to me. 

The Nornir-Trigonal Clone, Matsuura's Tokyo studio in 2015.

A set of extravagant and powerful images immediately came to mind when I brainstormed for this new solo exhibition. However, as the world comes to a halt due to COVID-19 in 2020, I was overwhelmed by a sense of powerlessness, and could not bring myself to make works that I had originally set out to make. 


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. 


I am hard-pressed to pick up my brush at a time like this, thus a series of new works arose from my determination to paint in a “Quiet World.” Many of them are marked by time, containing elements rarely seen thus far in my practice.


Quiet World, Goat Boy and BandageMatsuura's Tokyo studio in 2020.

Things that we took for granted in peaceful times have unknowingly changed, yet we remain oblivious and life moves on. Perhaps, now is the time to reflect?

Characters in “Super Acrylic Skin” are gazing straight at this Quiet World. In their unwavering gaze, is my faith in the new world. 


Hiroyuki Matsuura

September 2020

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