Tomokazu Matsuyama: Boom Bye Bye Pain

ARTFORUM, May 22, 2021



Tomokazu Matsuyama’s solo exhibition “Boom Bye Bye Pain” (May 22 – July 10, 2021) is the first show to be held at KOTARO NUKAGA’s new space in Roppongi, Tokyo, and the New York-based artist’s first exhibition in Japan in 3 years.


Raised in both Japan and America before establishing his studio in New York, Matsuyama’s bicultural background and the diverse sociocultural issues of the city where he has worked for many years plays a large role in informing his practice, which describes the relationship between humanity and our information society through life-sized artistic language. At the age of 25, Matsuyama traveled to the United States and began to study art on his own, creating his own editorial production methods such as mashups and sampling to create colorful, multi-layered paintings and sculptures. In recent years, he has held numerous exhibitions and public art projects worldwide, and his approach to global social issues has been highly acclaimed.


This exhibition features 15 new works by the artist. Until now, Matsuyama has placed objectivity at the center of his production concept− a deliberate and unique approach within the context of art history that reflects the cool, detached attitude he has adopted in order to challenge authoritarianism. In this exhibition, however, Matsuyama inserts himself as a participant, raising questions about his own involvement within the larger social issues reflected in the title of the exhibition, and how these issues are eventually reabsorbed into the individual. “Working on the production of my pieces brought me face-to-face with the fundamentals of what it means to be human, and how we strive to survive no matter what environment we may be placed in.” Such are the inner thoughts that Matsuyama had when preparing for this show, and they express a new horizon in his modes of expressions.

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