Let’s Get Digital: Toshiya Masuda Recreates Retro Technology as Pixelated Ceramic Sculptures

  • Oct 23.

“Low pixel CG ‘Recollection playlist 2.’” All images © Toshiya Masuda, shared with permission

Retro digital aesthetics meets analog techniques in the ceramic sculptures of Toshiya Masuda. The Japanese artist (previously) fuses the low-resolution, pixelated imagery associated with early virtual worlds with quotidian objects from a similar time in pop culture history. Blurry cubes of painted clay form a bright red boombox and cassette tape, a pair of high-top Converse, and a Polaroid camera with a crinkled photo emerging from its slot. By melding the two disparate forms, Masuda creates what he calls an “image gap,” an uncanny feeling in which the unreal is made tactile.

Nostalgic and youthful, the sculptures reflect technological evolution and our increasing reliance on devices. Masuda tells designboom:

I am 46 years old now. I remember when I was in primary school, computers became widespread, and by the time I was a university student, these were followed by smartphones and tablets. It was like the dawn of the digital age. I am part of the generation where digital objects gradually increased their presence in our lives… One of the most important things for me when I create my work is to make sure that it expresses the times in which I live.

A few years back, Keiko Art International produced a short film documenting Masuda’s process and thinking that’s worth the watch. You can find more of his work on his site.


“Low pixel CG’Memory container 2′”

“Low pixel CG ‘Super Idol’”

“Low pixel CG ‘All Star’”

“Low pixel CG’Recollection Playlist’”

Left: “Low pixel CG ‘Withering Flowers.’” Right: “Low pixel CG ‘Family Taking Refuge from a Bombing Raid’ (V&A collection)”

“Low pixel CG ‘Transition’”

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