The Work of 非 (HI)

Mysterious Japanese artist 非 creates digital paintings that look like translucent and intricate watercolours.  His/her identity is a closely guarded secret and the artist confesses to not liking him/herself enough to associate his/her personality with the work.  A major feature in 非’s imagery is that it pulsates and flickers with pastel and psychedelic colours that articulate variation in skin tone, bruising, geometric patterns in confetti and strangely surreal fireworks, dripped paint marks or ornaments.  They seem to vibrate and osculate and this injects and peculiar sense of life into the static images.  Although 非 admits to being an under-confident draftsman on paper, he instead opts for digital techniques that erase mistakes without trace and result in a clean finish.  His subjects are young men, battered and mottled, sickly and altered.  Often their features are obscured or contorted and when their faces are explained in detail, their features are bloodshot and wounded as they gaze out of their picture plains, staring directly almost appealing to the viewer.    非’s figures seem lost in contemplation and introspection.  Meditations on self harm, sickness or societal wounds that shape a person in time, they seem like studies of hurt and records of isolation.  Despite this they are beautiful-lean, fit and similar to male models they seem iconic and effeminate.  They represent the loneliness of a particular stage in a man’s life, namely his teens which 非 sees as being the most difficult time to reach out and communicate anything to the rest of the world.  Women, in 非’s eyes, lead a happy existence and it is only by using the male form that he is able to express feelings of isolation, detachment and exclusion.

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