Matchbaco is very pleased to announce “RENDEZVOUS”, the solo exhibition by Shinji Ihara, to be held from December 5 to 27, 2015.

Shinji Ihara’s paintings focus on direct, intimate connections; he paints himself, people he loves and his close friends.

A naked man in a dusky room looks into the dim light of a refrigerator; a nude figure lies face down on the floor; a man cradling a cat in his arms looks directly at the viewer; another, smoking a cigarette, warms his naked body in front of a stove.

Many of his paintings are male figures, but not idealised males as antonyms of the female form, or muscular, sexualised males; Ihara paints real, flesh-and-blood figures that radiate a will to connect with others in the midst of desolate isolation.

Expressing the sorrow-filled base of human existence through the interplay of light and shadow, Ihara paints in dense, detailed brush strokes, as if placing tiny jewels one by one on the canvas.

“Loneliness can derail a person”, he says. In a dialogue with himself, he breathes a light into his paintings that stems from the deep humanity and existence of the corporeal body, from the richness of a world seen from a viewpoint of isolation, and from isolation itself.

“My works are born from a great variety of encounters” is the artist’s explanation of his theme, “RENDEZVOUS”.

This exhibition will comprise two stages; the《LIFE》series will be exhibited first and includes self-portraits and portraits of people in his life, while the《S》series will follow and comprises portraits of the painter Atsushi Suwa, known worldwide for his transgressive works.

In conjunction with the exhibition, matchbaco will produce an exhibition catalogue, “Shinji Ihara: RENDEZVOUS” (A5 full colour / 40 pages), in a limited edition of 100. 2015.12.05-13《LIFE》series 2015.12.16-27《S》series