Shigeki Matsuyama’s mesmerising ‘dazzle camouflage’ NARCISSISM: DAZZLEROOM, a mobile optical illusion that you can’t take your eyes off;


Shigeki Matsuyama was born in 1973 and is now based in Kanagawa, Japan.

From 1998, he worked as a freelance illustrator creating product illustrations and advertising. Immediately following the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake, Matsuyama held a solo exhibition in Tokyo called UNEASINESS. This inspired him to deviate from his 13-year career as an illustrator and begin working as an artist, so that he could create more conceptual work. Currently, he is working not only on tableaus, but also on objects and installations. About the work: Dazzle camouflage was a type of ship camouflage used during World War I. As its name suggests, it was meant to dazzle and confuse the human eye. In an era where radar technology did not exist, an enemy vessel’s range and heading needed to be visually identified for targeting. The complex black and white patterns painted on ships with dazzle camouflage made it difficult to ascertain whether a target was moving closer or farther away and prevented accurate firing. ​ The person in the room covered with dazzle camouflage uploads selfies to social media while surrounded by a larger self-representing narcissism. In an era where much communication occurs over social media, metrics such as likes and follows fulfil our desire for recognition; however, the ease of which we can obtain validation from others leads to the growth of this desire, and we attempt to satiate it using our self-image or “larger self.” The boundary between self and self-image is unconsciously blurred by dazzle camouflage, and as a result, we ourselves cease to recognize our own boundaries.

Solo Exhibition (selection)
2012 “CHAOS 2” Cham, Kyoto/Japan
2012 “CHAOS” NOS, Ebisu,Tokyo/Japan
2012 “SIGE Exhibition 2012 : epitome 2” GOODDAYS, Yokohama,Kanagawa/Japan
2012 “SIGE Exhibition 2012 :epitome 1” grass roots, Yokohama,Kanagawa/Japan
2011 “UNEASINESS” NOS ORG, Shibuya,Tokyo/Japan
2010 “SIGE Exhibition 2010” EVERY TOKYO, Nakamegurfo,Tokyo/Japan
2009 “SIGE Exhibition2009” VERANDA, Nishiazabu,Tokyo/Japan
2009 “LAUGH IT OFF” Launchpad gallery, Yokohama,Kanagawa/Japan