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Art & Culture

Ryusuke Sano’s First Solo Exhibition
“ZOOOOOOOM : Accumulating Colors”

26 Oct, 2022

WAY by Way of Difference is proud to present the first solo exhibition in Hong Kong for Japanese artist Ryusuke Sano. On view are 13 new works by the artist, created with his distinct visual language – ZOOM.

The Tokyo-based artist has built a remarkable reputation in the art scene with ZOOM. His art features a fusion of figurations and abstractions, sketches and drawings, blank-leaving and thick impasto. With ZOOM, Sano channels the tension of an overwhelmed world and seeks to provide an intriguing reinterpretation.

“Whether you look at my artworks up close or from a distance, focusing on any point on the canvas, you can see that I paint intensely. I think ZOOM is the appropriate umbrella term to represent all of my creations.” – Ryusuke Sano

Most of Sano’s canvas paintings are oversized, making the depicted subjects seem larger than life-size. Bursting out on each pictorial plane are images juxtaposed with each other, or colors and strokes overlapping to form a semi-abstract figuration.

The way he paints reflects this era – an era of information explosion. Sano intends to reinterpret the various layers of imagery we are being exposed to. With each “zoom”, we are drawn closer and closer to the tiny components making up the artist’s creative concept – his likes and dislikes, the things that touched him, and experiences that left a mark in his memory. In all of that, he draws inspiration from all sorts of references, like urban culture, iconography of his surroundings and daily encounters. From a macro perspective, Sano’s paintings are abstract executions revealing shared imagery, which is often cryptic and open to interpretation.

To Sano, all works are created through a candid and uninhibited creative process. They are monuments of confrontation with his inner-self, shout-outs of his once- private dialogues with his dissociated self, and declarations of steadfast beliefs that have shaped his life.

The self-taught artist studied fashion before pursuing art in New York. His thought-provoking paintings have been winning over fashion brands and trendsetters. He has collaborated with the pop music band King Gnu, MOUSSY – the fashion brand, the IWC watch brand, and many more. He also painted the portrait on Go Ayano’s book cover.

ZOOOOOOOM : Accumulating Colors is Sano’s 7th exhibition based on the ZOOM concept.

About ZOOM

ZOOM (ZOOM, ZOOOM, ZOOOOOOM…) is a concept created and developed by Ryusuke Sano to allow him to create artwork with more flexibility. It is the single most important element needed to understand Sano’s art. Drawing inspiration from his experiences and deep memories, he spreads these thoughts on canvas. Describing his artistic experience in today’s information-overloaded environment, Sano says, “You have to reinterpret the many thoughts and ideas that piled up in your mind, from your own point of view.” The ZOOM experience is also his visual experiment through contemporary art.


Sano creates his works using a “scrap and build” approach. He deviates from the traditional composition, ignoring the axis and center alignment, shaking up emotions, imagination, and cognition. Abstract and figurative, drawing and painting, coexist on his canvas without regularity. Sometimes they are several layers of colors, sometimes they break away from the subject, and sometimes they are erased into whiteness for abstraction. All these form the fascinating layers of Sano’s works. The complex elements in his works are purposefully arranged to be viewed from various angles, depending on the audience’s perspective.

As a self-taught artist, Sano does not prioritize any particular style or technique. Instead, he breaks the harmony and balance to create tension in his artworks. He chooses bold colors for impact while keeping the soft tone and even leaving a sharp white space on his canvas. Each element stands independently but looks cohesive when put together.

There are more layers in Sano’s works than a human eye can see. His works can be read in so many ways, as a whole, and in smaller details. This is what makes his works so compelling. The art has an immersive appeal that pulls you in, until you are absorbed. That is the experience that Sano wants the audience to have when facing his contemporary art series ZOOM.

Date: 2022.10.27 – 11.20

Venue: Gallery by the Harbour (Shop 207, Level 2, Ocean Center, Harbour City)