Galerie Sho Contemporary Art

Matsuyama Ken: Vanity Fake

Matsuyama Ken: Vanity Fake

Saturday, October 23, 2010Saturday, November 27, 2010


Tokyo, Japan

Opening Reception: 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. on Saturday, October 23

Artist Talk: 5 p.m. – 7 p.m. on Saturday, November 6

Seishi Uchiumi (painter) × Kengo Nakamura (artist) × Matsuyama Ken

"Real and Fake and Fiction – We Have Abstract Paintings"

Art works are fictional. Actors playing evil characters are not evil men in reality and novelists who write about adulteries or murders don’t commit such in real life.

There are techniques and technologies to make the fiction looks/sounds real. When the play is poorly acted, you can’t get the bad performance off of your mind. Images can be created, by editing, to make people accept the fact differently.

To draw realistically, to make it look like a photograph, is just one of those techniques. It’s like carving wood or taking photographs or making prints and it doesn’t mean I’m trying to master the realistic drawing. It’s like keep polishing carefully when you want to make smooth curves.

A motif is only one of those elements that make up the fiction. When the painting is photographic and realistic, it might be natural for people who see it to be interested in its motif and the technique.

Painting is one of the means to make the fiction called artwork possible. My first “contemporary art” work after I stopped drawing Japanese painting was three-dimensional. So when other people introduce me as a “painter,” I feel uncomfortable. Since I plan to show three or four paintings, about 2-meters high, at this exhibition, being called a painter can’t be helped, I suppose.

Matsuyama Ken

Galerie Sho Contemporary Art is pleased to present Matsuyama Ken Solo Exhibition, “Vanity Fake,” from Saturday, October 23 through Saturday, November 27.

In his works, Matsuyama draws women you see on mail-order catalogues or magazines all the time, as a motif. People often misread and think there’s a deep meaning but how he chooses them is more like “collecting materials” and it’s nothing more than picking up what he sees while flipping through the pages. So Matsuyama doesn’t have any special feelings for the motives.

Also, one of the characteristics of the works he shows this time is that he borrowed and adopted an abstract paintings done by master artists whom everyone knows as background for the above mentioned women motif. Again, Matsuyama says the abstract painting is “one of the patterns” and only one of various materials he used to sample as a “technique.” A cynical feeling of distance between the artist and his entire work arises as he re-draws an abstract painting realistically so that it’ll become a material,

In the work created by the artist as if he was seeing it like he was conducting sampling, we can almost feel that the artist’s message which can be read as ‘it’s a fiction without specific meaning’ and the artist’s energy actually oozing on the surface causing chemical reaction. Even though the artist removed the scent of his own identity from each material, nicely combined materials created with careful brush strokes make the presence of the whole work even more fascinating.

By positioning the work he created with extreme passion as "Vanity Fake," in other words "it’s a void/zero that’s drawn and there’s nothing there," the artist might be trying to talk, with his own voice, about examining what is real, fake and fictional and about the new possibility arises as a result of the interaction between all these.

Ken Matsuyama was born in 1968 in Iwate Prefecture. He’s been creating artworks in Yokohama after finishing his graduate study at Kyoto City University of Arts in 1993. He has exhibited his works at many exhibitions such as “Girly2010” at Kawasaki City Museum (2010), “Quest” at Shinjuku Takashimaya Art Gallery (2008), Kirin Contemporary Award at Kirin Beer Head Office, Kirin Plaza Osaka (1999) and at Kirin Art Space Harajuku, Kirin Plaza Osaka (1998). This will be his second solo exhibition at Galerie Sho Contemporary Art following “Map” in 2009.