Kondo's paintings draw on the fine line between the realistic depiction of landscapes on the one hand and the symbolic imagery acquired through contemporary media and suspended in memories on the other. The natural world that he constructs is an abstraction of reality, a composition of impossible landscapes; the sky a brilliant blue, the mountains tall and lakes deep, yet lacerated from reality the images seem unsettling in their perfection. Living creatures, animals and birds, that feature in his paintings against the backdrop of realistic yet strangely familiar landscapes, is perhaps suggestive of a peculiarly modern sense of isolation or even an affirmation of our own existence, thus drawing in the viewer to cross over into another transient realm.
For his new works, Kondo paints landscapes with architectural structures symbolising cultural experience, thus eliciting a more lyrical encounter with nature. They depict a hybrid of our cultural sublime and the facsimile of nature orchestrated around contemporary urban development.
Masakatsu Kondo was born in Nagoya, Japan in 1962. Since graduating from the Slade School of Fine Art in 1993 he has continued to live and work in London. He has exhibited internationally, both solo and as part of group shows, competing in the John Moores Exhibition at the Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool (1997 and 1999), the Granada Foundation Prize at the Whiteworth Art Gallery, Manchester (1993), Prime at the Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery (2000) and Nature in the Dream at the Tatebayashi Museum of Art, Gunma(2006). Selected solo exhibitions include; Botany (2003) and Bridge (2007) at David Risley Gallery, London; Masakatsu Kondo at Mid Pennine Gallery, Burley (2002); Whenever I Am Silent, All Visual Arts, London (2012).