Andrea Samory's first solo exhibition at Contrast in Tokyo.
Andrea Samory: “Overgrowth”
October 20 - November 5, 2023
What can be called “capsule aesthetic” has been a staple of graphic and industrial design for over a decade now. Websites, apps UI, infographics, etc. feature soft yet crisp, regular geometries with perfectly rounded corners, and are paired with pastel colored, uniform gradient fills. This visual language has spread through SNS and other platforms, and have become part of purely visual media like CG art, graphic art, and even more traditional media like painting and sculpture.
Visual competition over brand identity and recognizability forces designers and engineers to simplify, flatten, soften every visible bit of information. Like a fungal infection that spreads pervasively throughout its substrate – but that only displays pretty blooming patterns on the surface, “capsule aesthetic” seeks to give simplicity and friendliness to our impossibly chaotic internet environment. It makes us forget how frighteningly overstimulating and randomly curated is the content that we consume, and how little control we actually have over most of the technology that overwhelms our attention through algorithms and AI.
Ultimately, this visual language eases us into forgetting how virtual environments and invisible forces shape our everyday lives and influence our physical bodies.
Andrea Samory’s first solo exhibition “Overgrowth” explores how most systems of aggregation and emergence can look deceivingly beautiful and familiar - yet their inner workings and the true extent of their scale are impossible to fully comprehend or visualize.
It highlights the human instinct to create systems whose prime directive, as seen in nature, is growth beyond ethics and morals. It also takes inspiration from how virality (both as a biology-related concept and an internet-related concept) shape our society.
Shiny, multiple, perfect abstract shapes overwhelm and engulf the landscapes of biomorphic patterns present in the exhibition’s sculptures and video projections. As in the body-horror movies Akira (1988) and Videodrome (1983), the concept of overgrowth is evoked as the continuous struggle between creation and entropy - both at the microscopic scale and at the cosmic scale, both in the physical world and in the virtual worl
Andrea Samory is a Tokyo based visual artist, born in 1991 in Italy. He is an alumnus of The University of Tokyo, and he has previously worked for Kengo Kuma and Kohei Nawa. He has exhibited in Italy, Japan, Taiwan and Australia, and has been featured in several international websites and zines. His practice is based on a post-internet vision of art as the process of materializing virtual images and intangible forces. He focuses on the biological body in relation to the stereotypical concept of nature, and on how familiar images, when released from their idealized context, can become a mirror for collective anxieties and expectations towards the future.
In his work, the philosophies of Speculative Realism and Assemblage Theory get infused into the genres of Sci-Fi, Body Horror, Cosmic Horror and Magical Realism – an aesthetic created as a response to nowadays incessant flux of both dystopic and utopic information regarding global society, climate, politics, technology. The recurring themes of growth, entropy, mythology and human hybris are given shape through the recombination, aggregation, distortion, and assemblage of natural textures and figures. He combines 3d sculpting and 3d printing with SFX and more traditional sculpting techniques, to attract the viewer into a world of natural corruption and uncannyness - provoking the ambivalent feelings of repulsion and fascination, alienation and recognition.
VIDEO PROJECTION (img#13 only):
Direction / 3D modeling: Andrea Samory - Insta @andrea.samory
Animation / Editing: Daniel John Paul - Insta @normalrender
Music: Andrew Valentine - Insta @andrew__valentine
Excerpt of video projection (Youtube Link):
Photo: Martin Holtkamp