Ryusei Maeda solo exhibition

Ryusei Maeda solo exhibition "MEMORY ITSELF"

2023.05.20(Sat) – 2023.05.25(Thu)

YUGEN Gallery will hold Ryusei Maeda's solo exhibition "MEMORY ITSELF" from Saturday, May 20th to Thursday, May 25th, 2023.

Pictures that remember emotions

People with indescribable facial expressions and nihilistic cityscapes drawn with a comic-like touch, and paranoid streaks and pointillism drawn by hand in the background. Ryusei Maeda, who creates monochrome two-dimensional works that combine multi-dimensional elements, will publish about 40 points drawn over the three years from 2020 in "MEMORY ITSELF".

“I don’t even think about turning it into a work, but from the photos I take every day, I pick out photos that I feel are funny and feel good. I am interested in drawing

Born in Hyogo Prefecture in 1993. Inspired by music CD jackets and clothing graphics, he aspired to be an artist. Among his favorite artists are Raymond Pettibon, Daniel Johnston, Barry McGee, Mike Kelly, Francesco Clemente, and Shinro Ohtake.

Majored in visual design and film at Kyoto Seika University's Faculty of Design. Performed at Fuji Rock Festival's ROOKIE A ​​GO-GO with the band "Valley Bowies" formed when I was in school, and an art project group "SUCC (Seika University Culture Club)" supervised by Hiroshi Fujiwara, who was a visiting professor at the school at the time. )>, and after graduating, he has been based in Kyoto, where he has been engaged in creative activities that are not bound by genre, centering on drawing works.

Scenery made up of various emotions

In 2022, I decided to move my base to Tokyo and work. The theme of this exhibition, which is the first step in that direction, is memory.

“From the paintings I drew while I was away from music activities, the corona crisis, and the time I spent in Tokyo, I can definitely see the scenes at that time. I want this exhibition to be the culmination of three years of changes in my environment and feelings.”

Maeda says that painting can connect with society and also keep a distance. The finished work is a kind of knitting that can only be understood by continuing to move your hands until it becomes something like a shape. A pattern of crossed threads of various memories and emotions appears.

“When I look at the pictures I drew in spring, it reminds me of the scenery and scent of the blooming flowers. I can’t put into words the things that remind me of landscapes, photos, smells, and sounds, but I think I have to remember them. It's not that I want to go back to that time, but I don't want to forget the feelings I had at that time, such as what I was thinking."

A bee perched on a flower, a praying mantis standing in a rocky mountain, a towering building in a desert area, etc., can be instantly zoomed in and out to cut in abstract paintings. In Maeda's work, which has a multi-layered screen composition, we can see the influence of the manga that he was familiar with as a child and the installations of photographers such as Tillmans.

Taking pictures is the feeling of being alive

The subjects are photographs taken by myself every day. I used to love movies, so I got inspiration from movie scenes, newspapers, and second-hand books. Expand your imagination.

“The pace of the world is fast, and new expressions are emerging one after another thanks to efficient means. I want to face the emotions that I can't put into words because I'm not swept away by the times, and the sensual things that I find interesting."

Maeda's works, which depict the details of everyday life that we usually overlook and the other-dimensional space that we jump from there with a super-realistic technique, express our various emotions and memories that are woven in an era of indescribable anxiety and chaos. floats dry. What is shown there as hope is handwork as art.

He says that it is "honestly exhausting" to draw lines and dots with his own hands every day. However, I believe that there is something that can only be conveyed by facing the depths of oneself and continuing to draw.

Maeda's monologue, in which he meticulously copies his memories onto paper with an ink pen in his hand. In today's world where the feeling of being alive is waning, art makes us feel that human memory is truly a physical thing.

Works on display

*Some of the works on display are subject to change. please note that.

About work sales

At the same time as the exhibition is held, it will be possible to view and purchase the works on the YUGEN Gallery official online store.

Information on visitor benefits

An original art book will be presented free of charge only to those who have answered the questionnaire form at the time of visit.
This is an original art book only for this exhibition, in which the exhibited works and the exhibition statement are compiled in one volume.

Ryusei Maeda Solo Exhibition "MEMORY ITSELF" Art Book
Recording artist: Ryusei Maeda
B4 variant / List price 1,650 yen (tax included)

*Please note that the design of the art book is subject to change.

Ryusei Maeda

Born in Hyogo Prefecture in 1993. Graduated from Kyoto Seika University, Faculty of Design, Department of Visual Design. Goods design for the alternative band <MOFO>, band <Kuhachi> "Rakugo" CD jacket, cover illustration for "Weekly Bunshun CINEMA!" In addition to artworks such as this, he is energetically active in group exhibitions such as "DOON" (Tokyo, MURASEKAI), "conversation" (Kyoto, haku kyoto), and "TIME GURU" (Osaka, art gallery opaltimes).

exhibition period

2023.05.20 (Sat) - 2023.05.25 (Thu)


YUGEN Gallery


Token International Building 3F, 2-12-19 Shibuya, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo

Opening hours

Mon-Fri 14:00-19:00
Sat/Sun/Holidays 13:00-19:00
*Ends at 17:00 on the last day only

closing day


days in the gallery

every day during the period

Admission fee



*Please note that the exhibition period and opening hours may change without notice depending on the situation.