Hiroyshi Asaka’s latest exhibition will present sculptures made of hard, heavy marble that conversely appear to be composed of mere Styrofoam. The contrast highlights the gap that exists between our visual perceptions and actual physical substance, bringing reality itself into question in the process.

dimensions variable
marble, styrofoam
*These image may not necessarily be exhibited.


“Is the physical reality we see substantial or insubstantial (an illusion)?” The concept of “insubstantial vs illusory” that grew from the question above provides the basis of the KASHOUMON series.

“To see the whole truth, we should not rely solely on what our eyes can perceive.”

The sculptures in this series take Plato’s thesis that external phenomena are imperfect, “transient” copies of their perfect abstract forms and mixes that with the concept of “illusions” to explore the true nature of reality. Though they are made from stone, a naturally occurring hard and heavy material, the works appear to be made of Styrofoam, a light and supple synthetic material that possesses the exact opposite properties. In other words, they could be considered hyperrealist figurative sculptures that use optical effects to overturn the fixed ideas about appearance, touch, and weight that are ingrained in the human brain. As the digital revolution proceeds, our opportunities to come face to face with artworks have lessened. As long as we cannot see or touch the actual sculpture, what is perceivable on our screens is mere Styrofoam. In reality, however, it is a sculpture made of stone. What we imagine about the things we see does not necessarily correspond to the reality of those phenomena. This requires us to question whether the information we receive from our visual senses is fully accurate. Isn’t that the true reality?
In addition, the development of AI will one day remove the necessity for humans to use their own brains to think. In such a world, the visual and sensory illusions that emerge when the opposing material properties of stone and Styrofoam are combined into a single piece will further manipulate the brain, enabling us to feel the truth of our reality within the resulting shift in awareness.
Upon seeing these Styrofoam objects made of the near permanent material of stone, what will people feel in the distant future hundreds or thousands of years from now? Styrofoam is inflated resin, and mass-produced resin products are one major cause of humanity’s severe disposable waste problems. By making the work out of a natural material like stone, I hope the piece will also draw attention to such environmental problems.

Artificial and natural, one material versus another, present and future···
by pitting all of these elements against each other, is the real world we see not dominated by the insubstantial and the illusory?

20/05/2024(mon) -  31/05/2024(fri)

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