Identity

Shiro Masuyama

15 September to 13 October 2017 

Japanese artist Shiro Masuyama creates work that runs the panoply of practice, ranging from performance to sculpture, installation, photography and video. There is a searching sensibility to his work, reflecting the artist’s peripatetic lifestyle and his openness to new experiences. His is an acute sensitivity to his surroundings and to his own cultural impact on his environment.

Shiro has worked nomadically since 2002 mainly with attending residencies worldwide including Millennium Court Arts Centre, Portadown (2014-2015) ; MMCA- The National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art Korea (2008) ; IMMA – Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin (2006) ; Künsterhaus Bethanien, Berlin (2004-2005); ISCP – International Studio & Curatorial Program, New York (2002-2003). Since 2010 he has been based in Belfast where he is a studio holder and co-director of Flax Art Studios.
He has received numerous awards including The Japan Foundation Asia Center Fellowship (2017-2018) ; ACES Awards, Arts Council of Northern Ireland (2016); Individual Artist’s Award, Derry-Londonderry City of Culture (2013); The Pollock-Krasner Foundation, New York(2009-2010). He has exhibited his works in numerous group exhibitions including ‘Collective Histories of Northern Irish Art’, Golden Thread Gallery (2015) and ‘Aichi Triennale 2013’, Nagoya, Japan (2013) and many solo exhibitions including ‘Self Sufficient Life’, Millennium Court Arts Centre, Portadown and Fotoaura Institute of Photography, Taiwan (2015).  He has completed a public art commission entitled “Five Apples” in Ballymena, Northern Ireland (2015).

For his Identity solo show at the R-Space Gallery in Lisburn he will be developing new work from his use of flax and shamrocks as materials, bringing these two symbolic plants to the former centre of Ulster’s linen industry. Linen is integral to the story of Lisburn. By combining the flax with shamrock, the obvious signifier of southern Ireland, Shiro is again responding to his environment, taking these two plants as separate identities and binding them into a cohesive whole. Plants represent, for the artist, the psyche of a place, the natural furniture that makes you identify with where you are: that roots you into foreign soil, at home or abroad.