Origin of the world  by Masaya Yoshioka
4 min

The Surreal Gardens of Nymphomania in Oil Paintings by Masaya Yoshioka

4 min

Though the self-taught painter Masaya Yoshioka works with oil on a panel, which is a feature of the so-called yoga (Western style) paintings, the content of his art is deeply connected not only with Munch or Van Gogh but also with Japanese culture and the shunga genre in particular. As the artist writes on his Instagram, "If shunga didn't exist in this world, my paintings would be different."

 blue self-portrait by Masaya Yoshioka

Fig. 1. Blue self-portrait (Instagram.com)

 blueBy the Sea by Masaya Yoshioka

Fig. 2. By the sea (Instagram.com)

 blue girl by Masaya Yoshioka

Fig. 3. Blue girl (Instagram.com)

 drunk man by Masaya Yoshioka

Fig. 4. Instagram.com

 couple by Masaya Yoshioka

Fig. 5. Couple, 2001 (Instagram.com)

 couple by Masaya Yoshioka

Fig. 6. Couple (Instagram.com)

 Convenience store by Masaya Yoshioka

Fig. 7. Convenience store (Instagram.com)

 Park by Masaya yoshioka

Fig. 8. Park (Instagram.com)

 Man and Woman by Masaya Yoshioka-9

Fig. 9. Man and woman (Instagram.com)

 Masaya Yoshioka erotic painting

Fig. 10. Instagram.com

 concubine by Masaya yoshioka

Fig. 11. Concubine (Instagram.com)

 lying semi nude by Masaya Yoshioka

Fig. 12. Instagram.com

 Origin of the world  by Masaya Yoshioka

Fig. 13. Origin of the world (Instagram.com)

 erect penis by Masaya Yoshioka-14

Fig. 14. Instagram.com

Hidden and Exposed

There is not much info about this artist on the web. Yoshioka himself remarks that "the works speak more eloquently than the author," so the audience must primarily enjoy interacting with the art. On the other hand, many of his paintings are accompanied by an extensive personal commentary that looks more like a fragment of a diary, often filled with bitter memories. All that's known about Yoshioka's curriculum vitae is that he was born in 1981 in Hyogo Prefecture and started drawing at 12 years old. The note on the Tokyo Art Beat platform states Yoshioka's initial training was copying shunga prints when he was only five years old, which sounds rather dubious yet remarkable. As the artist confesses, "I feel like most things were decided by someone else. But it was my own will that I wanted to become a painter. That was the only thing." In 2006, his work To a Place Where the Light Is, which portrays a kid's figure walking towards a store gleaming in the dark, was honored with an Encouragement Award at the Shell Art exhibition. After winning a prize, the work should have appeared at the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Center, yet it was rejected by the government. If the exposition included a series of his paintings, it could explain the ban because the leitmotif of Yoshioka's panels is sexual intercourse in public places, such as parks, gardens, or parking lots of convenience stores. His next exhibition in Tokyo happened only in 2023.

 To a Place Where the Light Is by Masaya Yoshioka

Fig. 15. To a Place Where the Light Is, 2006 (Instagram.com)

 Sea Opening by Masaya Yoshioka

Fig. 16. Sea Opening (Instagram.com)

In the extended Premium edition of this article we're going to delve much deeper in to the work of Masaya Yoshioka including dozens of additional images.

Click HERE for the phallic world of the Japanese artist Emi Makida

Sources: instagram.com/masayayoshioka_painter/; note.com/yoichitamori/; idemitsu.com