Everyday Images of You and Me ( EN/中文 )

text from "China Guardian Hong Kong Spring Auctions 2024"

Stay with you *HK by Masato Yamaguchi / 山口真人 Painting,SELFY,2022,TOKYO

Masato Yamaguchi’s Selfie Girl

Born in Tokyo in 1980, Masato Yamaguchi was influenced by American pop art master Andy Warhol and the highly regarded “Shibuya-kei Graffiti” movement in 1990s Japan. Despite majoring in economics in college, he decisively chose to pursue his artistic dreams, gaining recognition as an artist starting in 2004. Inspired from pop art and ready-made art, he combines the two to create uniquely industrial-themed paintings, infusing virtual objects with real-world significance. Over the past decade, he has held numerous solo exhibitions in Japan, won the “Independent Tokyo” award in 2019, started sharing his representative series SELFY on social media the following year, and held his first exhibition in Hong Kong in 2022. The classic piece presented in this spring auction, Stay with You*Hong Kong, belongs to that series.

Self-presentation and Dialectical Reflections on Reality

In this artwork, Yamaguchi depicts an innocent girl taking a tilted selfie with a smartphone. Using only four colours against a light grey monochromatic background, the artist employs minimal lines and large areas of black and white to flexibly outline the character and details: a black hoodie, phone case, and eyes. The phone case bears the white text of the programming language “TRUE / FALSE”, alluding to the vast, indistinguishable information in the online world. In contrast, the artist uses varying lengths of fine lines resembling hair to depict the fullness and airy texture of the girl’s bobbed hair and dynamic eyelashes, adding a sense of movement to the flat composition. The girl’s round eyes echo the round dual lenses of the phone, creating a mirroring effect, prompting viewers to contemplate the relationship between reality and illusion conveyed by the image. It leads to a deeper reflection on how we discern and perceive the true face of the world in our contemporary lives filled with the internet, online videos, and AI.

Japanese contemporary art historian Miwa Kutsuna once stated, “Masato Yamaguchi’s works go beyond reality to criticize reality.” In addition to exploring virtual and real issues, viewers can sense the ubiquity of contemporary selfies, self-exposure, idol creation, and Warhol’s perspective that “in the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes.” It provokes collective reflection.



山口真人 1980 年出生於東京。受美國波普藝術大師沃霍爾 (Andy Warhol)及九〇年代日本備受矚目的「澀谷系塗鴉」運 動影響, 讓大學主修經濟的他毅然決定追尋自己的藝術夢,畢 業後成為一名平面設計師,後在 2004 年開始以藝術家身份嶄露 頭角。其創作靈感主要源自波普藝術(Pop Art)及現成品藝術 (Ready-Made),前者探討消費主義盛行下不斷被複製的通俗圖 像與符號,而後者研究批量生產與藝術的關係。山口真人將二 者結合,旨在以「產業」理念創作獨一無二的繪畫,並賦予虛 擬物像現實的意義。在過去十年間,他在日本曾多次舉辦個展, 2019 年並贏得「Independent Tokyo」大獎,翌年開始於社交 媒體發佈其代表系列「SELFY」,並於 2022 年在香港發表首展。 是次春拍呈現的《和你在一起 * 香港》即為該系列之經典。


本作中,山口描繪了一位拿著智能手機歪著頭自拍的天真少女。 全作僅 克制地使用四種色彩,在淺灰的單色背景下,藝術家以 極簡的線條與大面積的黑白為基底靈活地勾勒出人物及其細節: 黑色的衛衣、手機殼與眼珠,其手機殼上印有白色字樣的編程 語言「TRUE / FALSE」,指涉著網絡世界裡真偽莫辨的海量信 息。而對比之下,藝術家以長短不一如髮絲般的細線有序繪出 豐盈空氣感的齊劉海短髮及靈動睫毛,讓扁平的畫面頓時增添 了動感。少女圓滾滾的眼珠呼應著圓實的手機雙鏡頭,畫面整 體彷彿鏡面成像,令觀者不禁思考圖像所表達的虛實關係,進 而深入思考在我們身處的互聯網、網絡視頻、AI 充斥的當代生 活中,我們應如何判別及感知世界的真實面貌。

日本當代藝術史學者沓名美和(Kutsuna Miwa)曾指出:「山口 真人的作品以超越現實的現實,以批判現實。」除對虛擬及真實 議題的探討,觀者在其中亦可感知俯拾皆是的當代自拍、自我 曝光、造神及沃霍爾的「在未來每人都可成為明星 15 分鐘」的 觀點,引人共嗚。