After having challenged time and even history itself, and after having followed in the footsteps of such masters as C.D. Friedrich and J.M.W. Turner, Hiroyuki Masuyama has returned to reinterpret the art of the past. However, this time the leap into the past has been extreme, and any examination of his works must have a temporal starting point, one that is actually to be found in ancient Rome and then moves onwards through the Renaissance up to the present day.
Once again everything is present on the same scene. The reconstruction caused by this temporal collapse (which is almost a-temporal) reminds us that art in the 21st century still quotes Futurist ideas. Obviously, times are more mature and, formally, we no longer find ourselves in front of Umberto Boccioni’s electric and impatient brushstrokes (La città che sale, 1910).
Here the city does not ‘rise’ but flows or, rather, runs at such a speed that dynamism becomes hyper-dynamism.
The new works on show by Hiroyuki Masuyama (prints on paper, as though to imitate engravings of time past) portray the Roman landscapes that in the past such artists as Marco Sadeler, Giovanni Antonio Canal, Giambattista Piranesi, Luigi Rossini, and J.M.W. Turner portrayed.
The continuation of Futurist interests is evident in them. The passing of time, the rush towards the future, and the dynamic representation of the scene remind us that everything is contained in a single moment: three hundred images are summed up in just one; the Roman, Renaissance, and contemporary ages are united in a single allusion aimed at breathing life into a new imagery and a utopian corner of time.
What is held over is the judgment of history and the weight of responsibility. The photographs, with their implicit provocation, seem to be a warning, one that leads us to reflect on the adverse conditions in which historical Italian monuments now find themselves.