This is the gallery’s first solo exhibition with Japanese artist Mr. since 2016. The exhibition showcases a significant progression in the artist’s visual language and themes over the past several years.
Along with the brand-new series of paintings, the exhibition features works created over the past six years which highlight Mr.’s technical drawing strengths beyond painting. Ranging from the “kawaii” (cute) to the “kowai” (scary, dark), this large selection of work also reflects his creative journey through the high and low, bright and dark explorations of various subject matters.
As Mr. has been credited as one of the leading artists from Takashi Murakami’s Superflat movement, his highly influential artworks have elevated the art form of the masses that is manga and anime into a high form of expression, while leading the way for many artists to follow in his footsteps.
At face value, Mr.’s seeming erotic anime-style depicts prepubescent boys and girls, however, the deeper meaning is the product of escapism from the artist’s own dislocated family structure. His father, at the bottom of the social hierarchy as a common laborer, worked with chemicals in a plastic moulding factory, and his mother was a devout follower of a fanatic religious cult. While a high school student at the age of 17, Mr.’s brother was placed in a protection facility by police for over a decade after violently escalating a domestic quarrel. In this unstable family environment, Mr. often disappeared into the world of solitary play in order to escape from his reality.
While critics are eager to attach Mr.’s signature exaggerated otaku visuals that manifest the artist’s fantasy to a specific theme (or as he himself describes them, his ‘personal fetish’), in fact, it is the creation of art that acts as a therapeutic exercise for the artist – allowing him to heal from the estranged family relationship. Although many viewers are nostalgic about Mr.’s works, the latter cannot be reduced to a specific feeling, rather, it can be said to evoke innate nostalgia from our shared sentimental sceneries. The meaning behind Mr.’s works are fueled by his indignation towards the post-war Japanese nation and can be found lurking in modern events such as the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, and the subsequent Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident.
The artist’s experimentation and imagination have become increasingly active in recent years, ushering in a change in technique. This stems from Mr.’s obsession with simple image processing by computers (mainly due to the artist’s low-tech preferences), resulting in the frequent use of silkscreen printing in order to produce the desired expressions on canvas, while at the same time incorporating this method more for his drawings.
A feature of these recent works is a new form of expression incorporating Japanese-style street art to depict a collision between the boisterous anger coming from media coverage of slums in Japan and the internal healing Mr. seeks himself.
Born in 1969 in Cupa, Japan, Mr. graduated from Tokyo’s Department of Fine Arts, Sokei Art School in 1996. He is now based in Saitama Prefecture.
* * * * *
被譽為村上隆超扁平（Superflat）運動的一員猛將，Mr. 把動漫這 大眾藝術形式推上更高層次，作品深具影響力，吸引到不少追隨者。從表面看，Mr. 筆下的男孩和女孩，似帶有色情動漫風格，背後其實是 藝術家在逃避問題家庭。Mr. 的父親是個普通工人，活在社會底層， 以製造塑膠產品維生，母親是狂熱教派信徒。Mr. 有個兄弟，17歲高中 時，因嚴重家庭糾紛而入住庇護所10多年。在這家庭環境下，Mr. 常常 退縮到自己的一人世界，為的是要逃避現實。
Mr. 的誇張宅男圖畫，已成為他的創作特色，除了表達幻想，藝評家 更認為與某主題有關，用Mr. 的說法，是要反映自己的戀物傾向。 其實，對於Mr. ，藝術創作是一種治療，讓他從離異的家庭中回復過 來。很多人都以懷舊心態欣賞Mr. 的作品，儘管作品無法簡化為單 一 情感，但更準確的說，是作品勾起觀者共同情懷裏的懷舊感覺。Mr. 作品的意義，源於他對戰後日本政府的憤怒，而近期事件亦有催化作 用，例如2011年東北地方大地震及海嘯，以及福島第一核電廠 故。
藝術家在近期創作中的實驗性與想像力日益踴躍，作畫技術也隨之轉 變。由於自身不倚重數碼繪圖，他先在電腦上簡單定稿，然後反覆採 用絲網印刷這一傳統工藝，在畫布表面展現獨特的觀感，近期的紙本 畫作也多運用了此項技術。
於是，近期作品出現了一種新表現方式，套用日式街頭藝術來描繪衝 突對碰：一方面是媒體報導國內貧民區所引發的社會迴響，另一方面 是藝術家自身的心靈治療。
Mr. 1969年生於日本Cupa，1996年畢業於東京創形美術學校美 術系，現居於埼玉縣，
MR.: PEOPLE MISUNDERSTAND ME AND THE CONTENTS OF MY PAINTINGS. THEY JUST THINK THEY ARE NOSTALGIC, CUTE, AND LOOK LIKE JAPANESE ANIME. THAT MAY BE TRUE, BUT REALLY, I PAINT DAILY IN ORDER TO ESCAPE THE DEVIL THAT HAUNTS MY SOUL. THE SAID DEVIL ALSO RESIDES IN MY BLOOD, AND I CANNOT ESCAPE FROM IT NO MATTER HOW I WISH. SO I PAINT IN RESIGNATION.
Exhibition Dates: September 14 – October 20, 2018 / 2018年9月14日至10月20日
Opening: Friday September 14, 6-8PM / 9月14日（週五）下午6時至8時開幕
PERROTIN HONG KONG, CENTRAL
50 CONNAUGHT ROAD CENTRAL, 17TH FLOOR