The majority of suburban Japan is a bland landscape of regular, cheaply constructed homes, along with shops and signage that dot the streets in colors that clash with the surrounding environment. Or, perhaps we’re just looking at it the wrong way, says artist Daisuke Samejima, who literally forces us to look at these scenes through a different frame. Working with acrylics, the painter uses irregular canvases as a trimming device to paint realistic yet regular scenes of Japanese suburbanism.
Samejima’s paintings on orbs, a series titled “Flatball” are particularly disorienting. The ultra-realistic paintings can easily be mistaken for photographs taken with a 360-degree camera. But upon closer observation, it becomes clear that it’s the work of acrylic paints and a painstaking attention to detail.
But Samejima’s other canvases are as equally interesting. The kanji characters he paints on are part of his own collection of actual signage, salvaged from old shops he’s come across. They themselves were once part of Japan’s suburban landscape, which were then reborn with their own story.