Having studied oil painting in Japan, the artist soon turns towards digital techniques. Based on photographs, he draws the motifs with a so-called digital pen by tracing the images.

Masaharu was born in Oita, Japan in 1973 and died in 2019.

Having studied oil painting in Japan, the artist soon turns towards digital techniques.
Based on photographs, he draws the motifs with a so-called digital pen by tracing the images. Afterwards, the original photo data is erased. The artist’s highly developped technique and the fact that the digital painting does indeed not show any brush strokes or other traditional painterly characteristics, makes it impossible to distinguish exactly between photography and painting, whereas the blurred line between the painterly and the photographic is throughly intended.
Masaharu Sato’s images depict situations from everyday life, although the wellknown scenes are often disturbed by small, irritating details.
A young adolescent is reading a book and flames are licking at the pages, a naked couple is sitting on the sofa in the lobby of a grand hotel, a wig creeps out a plastic bag that is lying on the street.
The often surreal details are disquieting, and they may indicate, that we do not participate in everyday’s life, but rather in a dream.

In his series Avatar, Sato has added an animation to his drawings.
Portraits of his friends, each and one in different surroundings, are shown on eleven screens. Synchronically, they are looking at first to the side, slowly turn towards the viewer and then turn their head away again; these sequences are being constantly repeated.
The title Avatar refers mainly to the Hindu mythology, which calls incarnated gods avatars.
Masaharu Sato finds such incarnations in everybody, regardless what origin, looks or mind.
He chooses the different scenarios in a way, that the bodies of the depicted people are always hidden by any kind of requisites.
Reduced to the head bearing neutral mimics, the viewer is dependent on the surrounding to reveal the people’s characters.

1996-1999 Studies of oil painting at Tokyo University of Fine Arts and music, Japan
2000-2002 Studies of sculpture at the academy of art, Düsseldorf under Prof. Magdalena Jetelova

Solo exhibitions
2019 I Touch Dream, Ken Nakahashi, Tokyo, Japan
2019 Dr. Reaper, Ken Nakahashi, Tokyo, Japan
2017 Tokyo Trace 2, Firstdraft Gallery, Sydney, NSW, Australia
2016 Hara Documents Masaharu Sato: Tokyo Trace Hara Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo, Japan
2015 11=1, Imura Art Gallery, Kyoto, Japan
2014 Portrait of Hiroko, Imura Art Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
2013 The Earthly Paradise, Gallery αM, Tokyo, Japan
2013 9 Holes, Sato Masaharu Exhibition, Kawasaki City Museum, Kanagawa, Japan
2012 Little Girl Coco, Imura Art Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
2011 Toride Elegy, Imura Art Gallery, Tokyo , Japan
2010 The Solo Project Basel, Switzerland with Galerie Voss, Düsseldorf, Germany
2010 Bye bye come on, Imura Art Gallery, Kyoto
2009 Signs, Galerie Voss, Düsseldorf, Germany
2009 Pink Sigh, Gallery Jin Projects, Tokyo, Japan

Group exhibitions
2019 ACT Vol.1 First Lingering Mist of Spring, Tokyo Arts and Space Hongo, Tokyo, Japan
2019 Roppongi Crossing 2019 : Connexions, Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, Japan
2018 My Favorites: Toshio Hara Selects from the Permanent Collection, Hara Museum of
Contemporary Art, Tokyo, Japan
2018 Matsuzakaya Museum (Aichi), Osaka Culturarium at Tempozan, Osaka, Japan
2018 The Doraemon Exhibition, Mori Arts Center, Tokyo, Takaoka Art Museum, Toyama, Japan
2017 The Iris of a Wolf, Block House, Tokyo
2017 Realism Art in Japan, Hakodate Museum of Art (Hokkaido) Toyohashi City Museum Art &
History (Aichi ) Nara Prefecture Museum of Art (Nara), Japan
2017 Gifu Land of Clear Waters Art Festival, Art Award IN THE CUBE 2017, The Museum of Fine
Arts, Gifu, Japan
2017 Empty Park, Gallery PARC, Kyoto, Japan
2015 Contemporary Art in Toyokawa, Toyokawa City Sakuragaoka Museum, Aichi, Japan
2014 Nippon Now, Düsseldorf, Germany
2014 Who, People Book Store, Tsukuba, Japan
2014 File 2014, Fiesp Cultural Center, Sao Paolo, Brazil
2014 Japan Media Arts Festival, The Museum of Art, Ehime, Japan
2014 Cave – Kanda Projection, Tokyo Denki University, Tokyo, Japan
2014 The Drifting Clouds, Galleria Paola Varrengla, Salerno, Italy
2014 Duality of Existence – Post Fukushima, Friedman Benda, New York, NY, USA
2014 Everyday Life / Off the Record KAAT Kanagawa Arts Theater, Kanagawa, Japan
2013 ZIPANGU Takasaki City Museum of Art, Hachinohe City Museum of Art,
Akita Museum of Modern Art, Japan
2012 Private Woodland Gallery Skape, Seoul, Korea
2012 Zipangu The Niigata Bandaijima Art Museum, Niigata, Japan
2012 @Kuca TransmitProgram #3 – Mtis – Kyoto City University of Arts Art Gallery, Kyoto, Japan
2012 Photo-Reference: Photographic Image in Contemporary Japanese Art Practices Cultural
Centre of Belgrade, Belgrade, Serbia
2012 15th Japan Media Arts Festival, Exhibition of Award-winning Works, The National Art
Center, Tokyo, Japan
2012 2:46 and there after Edison Place Gallery, Washington, DC, USA
2012 not only paper CAFA Art Museum, Beijing, China
2011 Ultra Kyoto Higashi Honganji temple, Kyoto, Japan
2011 Hierher Dorthin Goethe-Institut, Tokyo, Japan
2011 from a distance, keep a distance The Sungkok Art Museum, Seoul, Korea
2011 JapanCongo Le Magasin – National Centre for Contemporary, Grenoble, France
Garage Center of Contemporary Culture, Moscow, Russia
2010 Di-Stances, Kuandu Museum of Fine Arts, Taipei, Taiwan
2010 Roppongi Hills Programs video art at Roppongi Art Night 2010, Roppongi Hills, Tokyo, Japan
2010 Morality film program, Witte de With Center Contemporary Art, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
2010 Dandans at No Mans Land Ambassade de France, Tokyo, Japan
2009 City Net Asia 2009, Seoul Museum of Art, Seoul, Korea
2009 The 12th Exhibition of the Taro Okamoto Award for Contemporary Art, Taro Okamoto
Museum of Art, Kawasaki, Kanagawa, Japan

2009 Special award, The12th Taro Okamoto Award for Contemporary Art, Taro Okamoto Museum
of Art, Kawasaki, Tokyo, Japan
2011 Jury selection work of art division “15th Japan Media Arts Festival, Tokyo, Japan