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Shigeki Matsuyama's "Narcissism: Dazzle Room" Installation



Japanese artist and illustrator Shigeki Matsuyama continues his exploration of dazzle camouflage with the captivating installation "Narcissism: Dazzle Room."

Since 2013, Matsuyama has been delving into the intricate world of dazzle camouflage, a visual trickery first employed on warships during World War I. Designed to bewilder rather than conceal, these black-and-white patterns confounded enemy observers, making it nearly impossible to gauge a vessel's distance or direction in the pre-radar era.


In this installation, a participant in a room cloaked in dazzle camouflage takes selfies, projecting them into the digital ether of social media. The room becomes a metaphorical space where the line between self and self-image blurs, encapsulating our contemporary fixation on social validation. As we amass likes and followers, this external acknowledgment fuels an ever-growing narcissism, represented by a larger, looming self-image within the installation.



Matsuyama's work is a poignant commentary on the modern psyche. "The theme that runs throughout my works is that of 'modern people.' I take a pictorial approach to the changes brought about in the lives of modern people through the spread of smartphones and the Internet — and their effects on our consciousness — and express those ideas through my work," says Matsuyama.



In "Narcissism: Dazzle Room," the artist masterfully uses dazzle camouflage to symbolize the obfuscation of self-perception in the digital age. As we lose sight of our boundaries amidst the visual and virtual noise, Matsuyama's installation compels us to reflect on the consequences of our social media-driven identities.



Images courtesy of Shigeki Matsuyama

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