Escape III
signed and dated 'Hiroyuki Matsuura 2004, 3, 20,' (on the reverse)
acrylic on canvas
91 x 91 cm. (35 3/4 x 35 3/4 in.)
Painted in 2004
Mirai Project, Stockholm, Sweden
Asian Contemporary Art (Day Sale), Christie’s, Hong Kong, 27 May 2012, lot 2515
Asian Contemporary Art (Day Sale), Christie’s, Hong Kong, 25 May 2014, lot 714
Acquired from the above by the present owner
Tokyo Gallery, Super Acrylic Skin, Tokyo, Japan, 2005 (illustrated, p. 23).
Tokyo Gallery + BTAP, 2007 Hiroyuki Matsuura, Tokyo, Japan, 2007 (illustrated, pp. 46-47, 52-53, & 62).
Tokyo, Japan, Tokyo Gallery + BTAP, Hiroyuki Matsuura, November 2005.
Stockholm, Sweden, Mirai Project, Super Acrylic Skin, 6 November - 6 December 2006.
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Lot Essay

Escape III is suggestive of the search for alternative guises in our contemporary universe, and reaches out to our fantasies as heroes and ideal personas. As we immerse ourselves into Matsuura's invented world, and establish kinship with his protagonists, we become drawn to the idea of escapism, and the accompanying solace and companionship offered in his universe of fantasy and animation. As such, Matsuura's works not only serve to emphasize the increasingly porous nature of the boundaries between reality and the virtual realm, he also underlines the need for new moral codes, ethics and religion in the new virtual world that he envisions.
Hiroyuki Matsuura's proactive enthusiasm towards the constantly advancing technology that triggers cultural evolution is vividly integrated with his charmingly amiable characters. The artist astutely employs our sense of talent towards these characters to indicate our contemporary social tendencies and habits in daily interaction, immersion, transformation, connectivity with digital media.
His superflat-style is a new variant of traditional Japanese painting aesthetics.

An overwhelming sense of visual falsehood and self-reflection on role-play is what makes Matsuura's work equally powerful and unnerving. Where reality disappoints, the digital realm and its characters provide solace, mentorship, and companionship, allowing humans to delve deeply into this fantastical world. Matsuura's work not only clearly delineates the modern visual symbolic system, but also stands as a subtle commentary on the inability of this generation to distinguish themselves from the digital world.

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