Between border and convergence, Japanese Artist Tomokazu Matsuyama

August 15 03:06 2020

The boundary that sets the distinction exists everywhere. The apparent visual boundary is the borderline between the countries and the intangible boundary is the individual values. Color is a clear boundary element that distinguishes between different individuals. A distinct color elicits a misleading frame onto an idea and often breeds bias unto a stranger. 

Meanwhile, the ‘boundary’ compartmentalizes two different elements, it also possesses a contradiction by revealing its true functionality of closeness to witness the comparison targets. The concept of the East and West, nature and city, classic and modern seems thoroughly divided into separate classes, there are conjunction and an explorer to navigate through its relationship. Tomokazu Matsuyama is a Japan-born artist who lived and worked in the US and Japan. Matsuyama recognizes himself as a foreigner in both countries. As an Asian in the US, and an American-raised individual in Japan, Matsuyama constantly investigated into his existence value and identity and devoted himself to become an explorer. In a varying environment, my area of interest developed with the notion of introspection and convergence. 

In the boundary, Matsuyama carefully studies various positions of which he was once identified based upon and discovers the conjunction to produce a subtle convergence. Its fused outcome is saturated with an aesthetic value. is a correlative work that blends different cultural values between the East and West. It renders deliberate conjunction of the virtuous culture of the East and hierarchical culture of the West where the art exhibition was merely a means of ostentation of one’s power and social status. Matsuyama’s representative work, curved series encompasses the anecdote relative to his experiences in the East and West cultures. A strangely familiar composition and image, an otherworldly peculiar mixture of color conjure up the relation of reality and virtuality. The portrayed figures communicate with the audiences in a bold manner of self-esteem and attitude of ‘This is who I am’. This was the message the artist anticipated to convey throughout his works. 

Matsuyama’s practice extends further by merging the enormous nature and city via a sculpture work. By locating nature in a grey urban space where green is merely perceived, Matsuyama attempts to draw out the many dichotomies. is a public art introduced at Shinjuku station in July 2020 to manifest an authentic nature amid a desolate cityscape. The art installation reminds the pedestrians with a classic Japanese garden that comprises the ultimate symbolism for meditation and contemplation and designs a novel art space to the public. 

In the 21 century where the Fourth industrial revolution prevails upon the time of convergence, Tomokazu Matsuyama distinctively expresses modern society and culture. Matsuyama’s next step in his study of boundary and creation of value in the convergence is profoundly anticipated. 

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