HOW Art Museum is pleased to announce that the ﬁrst major museum solo show of the eminent Japanese artist Mr. in China will be on view from June 18, 2021. With the artworks spanning from large-scale sculptures and intricately layered paintings, numerous drawings to video works and spatial installations, the exhibition presents a holistic picture of the artist's creative practice within the realm of Otaku subculture from early years to recent days.
Mr. Sometimes We Cannot Make Up Our Minds, and There
Associated with “Superﬂat” and Japanese Neo-pop movements, Mr. examines the latter-day trends of Otaku culture and, through the means of anime-like imagery, reﬂects on Japanese popular culture, uneasy social issues and tragic historical events at large. In a nowadays media-saturated world, the immediacy of quotidian reality is shaped by a visual kind of sensibility. Thus the rapid increase in production and consumption of visual imagery since the 1970s in Japan has led to the formation of a new type of perception with maintained attachment to image-based narratives.
Mr. Convenience Store - We Would Always Eat Our Snacks
Here, Even in the Middle of the Night , 2020
Acrylic paint and silkscreen print on canvas 235 x 285 cm
Mr. adeptly and meticulously renders this "hypervisual" living experience of the Japanese mass culture devotee. Minutiae of his daily existence are reiﬁed into a "ﬂattened" universe of the artist's creation where reality is intertwined with ﬁction. Mr. repurposes the visual aesthetics of Otaku culture and its principles of constructing an appealing picture for a consumer to blur out the once seemingly steadfast boundary between the Japanese low-class mass culture and high-form artistic expression under realities of the contemporary art world.
Mr. Stay With Me - A Long Tale of This World, 2020
Born in 1969 in Cupa, Mr.’s neo-pop aesthetics spans painting, sculpture, installation, and video. Associated with the superflat movement founded by Takashi Murakami, he uses manga and anime to portray his personal fantasies. While he consistently draws his themes and motifs from the otaku subculture or fandom, he is more specifically a self-described otaku artist. His cartoonish visions are essentially inhabited by young characters, who are meant to evoke feelings of moe (a Japanese notion relating to the adoration of fictional figures). In typical kawaii style, he sometimes depicts childlike features (round faces, wide eyes, colorful hair) with innocent undertones. Contrasting with the bright cheerfulness of his all-powerful characters, a wider reflection on solitude, social anxiety, and fear underlies his work.