About Freedom

2023.9.22 Fri - 11.5 Sun


Installation movie



Click the image above to see more installation images of the exhibition.




Of course, everything we do can be explained by our actions.
But, I have to say the following right afterwards,
Everything that can be explained can be explained by actions.
And, very few things can be explained after all.
What I can say about freedom is, perhaps, how I go about making my frames.

August 2023 Masato Kobayashi



All of Masato Kobayashi’s artworks have no fixed forms, but are free and flexible. His style of painting while stretching the canvas is unprecedented. The titles of his works refuse to be categorized with anonymity, such as A Son of Painting, Unnamed, and Nameless Horse. Can we really call these paintings? But, to backpedal for a moment, who decided that images exist within a defined square, detached from reality, when nothing in this world is complete in itself?


Masato KOBAYASHI, Unnamed #66, 2019, oil, canvas, wood, 190 x 300 x 50cm


Masato KOBAYASHI , A Model of This Planet (Cowgirl Taking Off Her Gloves), 2023, oil, canvas, wood, 200 x 143 x 60cm


Masato Kobayashi says that everything in this world is “the scenery of paintings.” And there are various “frames” in this world. Without social frameworks, the frameworks of reality, and so on, nothing would exist. Therefore, “freedom,” as Kobayashi describes it, does not mean that one can ignore the framework and act as one pleases. Rather, it is a question of how human beings use their imagination to cut out the world, how much of the endlessly expanding reality a painting can take on in its body, how an artist sets the outer frame of such a painting, and how those things affect the freedom of art.


Masato KOBAYASHI, Starry Paint, stars of outer space by pure painting, Tensta Konsthall, Spanga, Sweden, 2004 – 2005


This exhibition consists of three large floor-standing works. The new work, Artist, was originally part of a work created for his solo exhibition Starry Paint in 2004 in Tensta Konsthall, Sweden. Standing 2 x 10 meters, the huge work was cut into pieces by Kobayashi at the end of the exhibition and brought back to Ghent, Belgium, as fragments. As many of them were transformed into small star-like works, so will this work appear in the present space as a completely new entity. A Model of This Planet (Cowgirl Taking Off Her Gloves), which was created from the physical traces of a model, and Unnamed #66, which has traveled to various places from his studio in Tomonoura, Hiroshima, are all works that should be experienced by all of the senses. More than 25 years have passed since Masato Kobayashi created his first floor-standing painting in Ghent. Please look forward to this exhibition of new artworks by Masato Kobayashi, who has continued to embody the freedom of art and artists.

August 2023 ShugoArts



Masato KOBAYASHI About Freedom 
Dates: Friday, September 22 – Sunday, November 5, 2023
Venue: ShugoArts
Hours: 11am – 6pm, Closed on Sun, Mon and Public Holidays
*We will be open on November 3, 5 for ART WEEK TOKYO.
Directed by Minako Ishii



Related Exhibitions

Dates: 6 October − 9 October
Location: Tennozu Canal area, Tokyo
*Masato KOBAYASHI’s works will be exhibited at this event.

Event Info


Worlds in Balance: Art in Japan from the Postwar to the Present
Curated by Kenjiro Hosaka
Dates: 2 November – 5 November
Venue: Okura Museum of Art
*Masato KOBAYASHI, Yoriko TAKABATAKE and Shigeo TOYA’s works will be exhibited in this exhibition.

Exhibition Info



Top image: Masato KOBAYASHI, Artist, 2023, oil, canvas, wood, 236 x 430 x 92cm