“Narcissism : Dazzle room” by Shigeki Matsuyama
“Narcissism : Dazzle room” installation by Japanese artist and illustrator Shigeki Matsuyama is one of a series of dazzle camouflage themed works the artist has been creating since 2013.
Dazzle camouflage was a type of ship camouflage used during World War I. As its name suggests, it was meant to dazzle and confuse the human eye. In an era where radar technology did not exist, an enemy vessel’s range and heading needed to be visually identified for targeting. The complex black and white patterns painted on ships with dazzle camouflage made it difficult to ascertain whether a target was moving closer or farther away and prevented accurate firing.
In the work, the person in the room covered with dazzle camouflage uploads selfies to social media while surrounded by a larger self representing narcissism. In an era where much communication occurs over social media, metrics such as likes and follows fulfill our desire for recognition; however, the ease of which we can obtain validation from others leads to the growth of this desire, and we attempt to satiate it using our self-image or “larger self”.
The boundary between self and self-image is unconsciously blurred by dazzle camouflage, and as a result, we ourselves cease to recognize our own boundaries.
“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.”
Images courtesy of Shigeki Matsuyama