Masaya Chiba at Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery

Artist: Masaya Chiba

Venue: Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery, Tokyo, Japan

Date: January 16 – March 21, 2021

Photography: all images copyright and courtesy of the artist and Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery

This solo exhibition by Masaya Chiba presents an artist who is exceptionally active on a global scale.
Masaya Chiba (1980), currently based in the Hachioji area of Tokyo, has acquired a substantial reputation through his solo exhibitions and participation in group exhibitions worldwide. He teaches young artists at schools like Musashino Art University and Tama Art University, and is seen as one of the most promising painters of his generation, inspiring high hopes for the future.
This solo exhibition, the first at an art museum, assembles under one roof leading works by Chiba since 2006 from the collections of art museums and individual collectors throughout the world, including peaceful village (2006, Ryutaro Takahashi Collection), which propelled the artist into the limelight. The show also exhibits unique drawings, as well as new paintings, video works, and large-scale installations.
In their entirety, the paintings presented make the venue an innovative and thrilling experience that communicates the world of Masaya Chiba.

Innovation and thrills emerging from free-and-easy use of a diversity of methods

Chiba’s practice begins by creating his papier-mâché and scrap wood human figures, arranging them with meticulous care in a temporary landscape along with a variety of items that he has collected. He then produces a painting that depicts the scene, making good use of his superlative technique to finely distinguish the different textures of wood, metal, plastic, and other materials. He sometimes displays his works on simple, homemade wooden stands. In this way, he blurs the boundaries between painting and sculpture, between two-dimensional and three-dimensional worlds. Chiba produces innovative and thrilling work, unconstrained in his use of techniques such as photography, video, installation, sound art, performance, and exhibition of documentation and other items. This free-and-easy attitude also applies to his painting, as can be seen in the Self-Portraits series in which he paints his own face directly onto the faces of stage actresses and Taekwondo athletes.

Experimentation in painting to produce an exciting viewing experience

Chiba’s work attempts to shake the framework of contemporary art through the well-established medium of painting, while faithfully perpetuating the legacy of the achievements and accomplishments of painters throughout the ages, including the traditions of both East and West. This bold approach provides viewers with a truly unique and exciting experience.