Hiroyuki Masuyama is known for his unique combination of photography and digital techniques. The Japanese artist combines historical and modern elements to create fascinating new perspectives. Masuyama's latest exhibition at the Pommersches Landesmuseum in Greifswald is dedicated to the German Romantic artist Caspar David Friedrich. Through innovative photomontages, Masuyama reinterprets Friedrich's works and combines the timeless beauty of nature with the aesthetics of the digital age. In an interview with Hatje Cantz, Masuyama talks about his journeys to Friedrich's landscape motifs and the resulting moments of personal connection with him

Hiroyuki Masuyama – Der Wanderer über dem Nebelmeer

Hiroyuki Masuyama: after Caspar David Friedrich: Der Wanderer über dem Nebelmeer 1818, 2022

Hatje Cantz: Hatje Cantz: Have you experienced a very personal Friedrich moment in your life that you would like to tell us about?

Hiroyuki Masuyama: The first time I saw original works by Caspar David Friedrich was in an exhibition at the Folkwang Museum in Essen in 2006. At the time, I wondered what these landscapes would look like today. So in 2007 I started travelling, which took me to the exact places where Friedrich had painted back then. I informed myself in advance and did everything I could to ensure that my trip would take place under the same conditions as Friedrich must have found them back then. That means at the same time of year with similar weather and at the same time of day. When I saw the exact landscape he had painted, in the exact place where he had painted it, I felt an inexpressible emotion. It was a powerful reminder that two people are connected by a natural system that transcends 200 years of time and cultural differences.

Hiroyuki Masuyama – Der Watzmann

Hiroyuki Masuyama: after Caspar David Friedrich: Der Watzmann, 1824, No. 2, 2023

HC: Can you tell us which elements of Friedrich's work you have taken up in your own artworks and what role they play in your artistic practice?

HM: I photographed the places he visited in the present and recreated the same images as his paintings in digital photography. I don't consider it my work as it is digital photography. My production is just a part of a long, big cultural flow, a bridge between the past and the future.

Hiroyuki Masuyama – Hochgebirge

Hiroyuki Masuyama: after Caspar David Friedrich: Hochgebirge, 1824, 2023

HC: Why do you think Friedrich's work is still relevant today?

HM: He lived at a time when society was changing dramatically at the beginning of the industrial revolution. I have the impression that we are moving from the era of the industrial revolution to the era of the digital revolution. I think that in this sense there are similarities between our time and the time in which he lived. We can learn something from the time in which Friedrich lived.

Header image: Hiroyuki Masuyama © Florian Hammerich 2021

Veröffentlicht am: 10.07.2024