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Galerie Perrotin Hong Kong
2013.10.04 Fri - 2013.11.09 Sat
Opening Exhibition
10/04/2013 18:00
50 Connaught Road Central,
17th Floor,, Hong Kong
+852 3758 2180
Opening Hours
Tuesday to Saturday, 11 am - 7 pm

周二至周六, 上午11时至下午7时
Alice Lung 龙玉

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MR. “Sweeet!”
[Press Release]

[Press Release]

Opening Reception: Friday 4 October 2013 / 6 pm – 9 pm
Exhibition Dates: 4 October – 9 November 2013
Tuesday – Saturday, 11am – 8pm
Galerie Perrotin, Hong Kong

Mr. graduated from the Department of Fine Arts, Sokei Art School in Tokyo in 1996. He later worked as an assistant to Takashi Murakami and became a founding member of Murakami’s Kaikai Kiki company, which supports young Japanese artists. He has also been associated with the Superflat movement and since the 1990s, has exhibited internationally in both group and solo exhibitions.

A self-proclaimed otaku, Mr. is known for repeatedly taking inspiration from and portraying beautiful girl characters in his works. His practice is a fusion of low-context contemporary art and high-context sub-culture. While his identity as an artist is an extension of his otaku self, he also attempts to take elements that are truly representative of otaku culture and translate them for audiences outside Japan. He incorporates precise details from Japanese manga onto the canvas by means of fine, hand-painted brush strokes, creating high-quality images with large surface impacts. The results are paintings with young girls as the chief subjects, set against abstractly crafted scenes.

Mr.,”So Sweet!: Daydreaming”,acrylic on canvas,227,3 x 486 cm / 7.5 x 15.2 feet,2013©2013 Mr./Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved.Courtesy Galerie Perrotin

The exhibition at Galerie Perrotin, Hong Kong, from 4 October to 9 November brings together a new body of works,which invite us once again into his private fantasy world.

This new painting series continues to employ a visual language that is communicated via moe – a Japanese slang word that characterizes fetishistic obsession with fictional preadolescent girls bearing physical features like large watery eyes, colorful hair with bangs, thin limbs and a flat face. The archetype is prevalent across Japanese sub-culture, from sci-fi literature to manga, anime and video games. Moreover, this time Mr. has taken the initiative to converse with the world by imbuing the canvas with suggestions of Western street art. He no longer confines himself to nostalgic Japanese graphics and achieves a breakthrough by including graffiti-like patterns which are familiar to a wider audience. The paintings transport us into a chaotic landscape populated with overlapping word posters, floating girl heads and clustered pop objects.

Mr.,”High School Story: Yeah!Yeah!”,acrylic on canvas,194 x 162 cm / 6.4 feet x 63 3/4 inches,2013©2013 Mr./Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved.Courtesy Galerie Perrotin

Mr. is an artist who builds his singularity by showing things that he is ashamed of: he projects his dark desire as an otaku and displays his discomfort through moe girls who are unblemished and untainted by the world. For Mr., value judgments should allow considerable latitude. If we ban everything that is thought to be morally corrupt, then we would lose a scope of our freedom and culture. Being a typical lolicon, a term derived from Vladimir Nabokov’s protagonist who bears the ‘Lolita complex’, Mr. is drawn to the brilliant energy of young, untouched girls who are symbols of a childhood where nobody dies. Yet, he will forever be frustrated because his objects of desire are untouchable, as it is immoral to act upon such desire. Thus, moe becomes his artistic concept as much as an aesthetic principle, using young girls as a mode of expression. Mr. has supplemented the lack of lolicon qualities among his fellow Superflat artists. He overcomes his own awkwardness and human fragility through his creative expression. Wrapped under the delicate and adorable features of moe girls is the articulation of Mr.’s ‘impossible love’, a form of desire that can never gain acceptance. The frail and vulnerable appearance of the girls are simultaneously reflections of Mr.’s solitude and a shadow of the complex emotions that lingers in the artist’s mind.