SHIGEKI MATSUYAMA : “Portrait of dazzle” : The artworks

Published by Admin Night Out Gallery on

Shigeki Matsuyama @sige_mt has presented 8 new painting last month at Night Out Gallery : 6 portrait of dazzle and 2 part of dazzle.



A portrait is a depiction of a specific individual. It became an established style of painting during the Renaissance, and since then, many artists have created portraits with a wide variety of themes. Some portraits have pursued realism while others have emphasized or exaggerated the beauty or ugliness of their subjects. (Source: This is media “Syozouga”)

The series Portrait of dazzle uses facial photos found among the countless selfies and snaps uploaded on the Internet. With a video projector, the eyes from the photos were projected and traced onto a silhouette of another person, whose race, sex, hairstyle, or body shape differs from those of the original, thereby creating portraits reflecting anonymity and the uncertain veracity of information on the Internet.


Born in 1973, Shigeki Matsuyama began his career as an advertising illustrator in 1998. But the great Tohoku earthquake of 2011 and his first solo exhibition on the occasion, Uneasiness, prompted him to devote himself fully to his more conceptual art. Since then, he’s been creating paintings, sculptures and even entire spaces that he dresses in his highly recognizable black and white stripes, which undulate across drawn or 3D bodies, walls, floors and furniture. In fact, you may already have come across his work if you’ve visited the Harajuku Vans boutique he designated in 2020!

The artist’s work is based on a dazzling, blinding camouflage (dazzle, a word often used by the artist) that was used during the First World War to confuse the enemy, who didn’t know whether the ships painted in this way were advancing or retreating.
But Shigeki Matsuyama’s camouflaged portraits denounce another kind of disorder: that of our contemporaries, totally absorbed by their smartphones and their images on social networks.

All these portraits circulating by the millions on the Internet, the artist takes them, covers them with his motif, they are interchangeable: a man’s silhouette, a woman’s silhouette, a haircut, a garment whose cut can be guessed … These black and white bodies disturb, challenge.
Sometimes he puts eyes on these forms, and this gaze grabs us: does it correspond to the body on which it seems glued?
By dint of looking at ourselves and others through our smartphones, aren’t we all dazzled, blinded like soldiers facing camouflaged ships?
What do we gain from all this time spent looking at other people on our screens? This anonymous crowd in which we move, this Narcissus gaze we cast on ourselves… For what?
As soon as we step back a little, we feel uneasy.
How about a change of perspective, a return to reality?
An artist who questions our relationship to technology, to the smartphone, that object that serves our narcissism, but anonymizes everything and twists reality…

His latest solo exhibition, Narcissus stares into the water in April 2023 in Tokyo, is very impressive in this respect.