The painterly language of Japanese artist Atsushi Suwa resembles Early Renaissance portraiture, while the carefully depicted facial expression of the subjects and the framing of their bodies reminds us of photography. Seen as short, frozen moments of life, his works emphasise the fragility of human life and serve as a reflection on our path towards death, which is itself a recurring motif in Suwa’s paintings. Another is the celebration of femininity. His women are not merely beautiful – they seem injured, but carry their pain with internal strength, self-confidence, and dignity, gazing inwards as if recollecting past experiences. Suwa’s strangely spectral realism comes to the fore in this book.