• Hideyuki Sobue

Selected for the Ruth Borchard Self-Portrait Prize 2021

I am pleased to tell you that my work has been selected again for the Ruth Borchard Self-Portrait Prize! This biannual prize exhibition is the most unique and prestigious show focusing on the artist's self-portrait. Artists often produce their self-portraits. For instance, the 17th-century Dutch painter Rembrandt created a number of his self-portraits time after time. The self-portrait shows the artist's exploration of identity, periodical self-awareness, ideological introspection, technical experiment, and the quest for the meaning of being a human. If the portrait would gain universality beyond the personal level, self-portrait should be the foremost among any kind in the genre, I believe.


Here is one of my periodical self-portraits, entitled Self-Portrait in a Window, which I produced a few years after moving into a quiet English rural town called Grange-over-Sands. I was and still am the only Japanese resident in this town. Depicting myself dimly in a double-glazed window against a backdrop of the town lights down below at night, I explored my identity as an artist in times of uncertainty in my life. In recent years I've developed a series of portrait with a double-vision style to explore human spirituality and dignity in the age of AI. This work is my early exploration of the potential of double-vision portrait style.


嬉しいお知らせが届きました。自画像に焦点を当てた最もユニークで権威ある隔年開催のプライズ公募展ルース・ボーチャード自画像プライズ展にまたまた入選できました!美術家はしばしば自画像を制作します。たとえば、17世紀のオランダの巨匠レンブラントは幾度となく自画像に取り組みました。それは、自らのアイデンティティーを深く探り、その創作人生の折々の自己確認を促し、思惟的内省へと導き、創作における様々な実験を許容し、人間とは何かの問いに肉薄させずにはおかないものです。肖像画が個人的領域を超えて普遍性を持つとすれば、自画像こそその最たるものではないでしょうか。


本作『Self-Portrait in a Window』は、イギリスの静かな田舎町グレインジ・オーバー・サンズに暮らし始めて数年の頃に制作したもの。ボクは、いまだにこの町に暮らすたった一人の日本人。ある夜、窓から眼下にきらめく街明かりを背景に二重ガラスに映る、見通しが不透明な人生の岐路に佇む自己像を表現したものですが、実は近年取り組んでいる、AI時代における人間の精神性の意味を探る複視画様式の最初期の実験成果でもあるのです。