Miki Matsuyama ‘Door to Door’

August 29th 2020 | Angeliki Kim Jonsson

A Fluxus of Art, Interior design, Architecture, Space and Creativity all entwined on canvas.

 “Although I am not physically in the space I paint I try to imagine myself there and really be in that perspective, to feel the audience.” – Miki Matsuyama.

Research shows that most of the time we spend at home is simply to sleep.

The average person spends about 33 years sleeping, 4,5 years eating and about 3 years are set aside for screen time. However, these numbers have drastically changed due to 5 letters: Covid.

Our otherwise (pre-covid) life style, of very busy and dynamic day- to- day lives changed overnight and we became confined to the four walls of our home. Suddenly we started thinking about Space. Not as in outer space, or the Californian Light and Space movement, but actual space.

The space we live in and our interiors and the mood it puts us in. I am a big fan of interior design and as a curator I find that it is important to create the right space for art to entwine with its interior surroundings (or stand out!) In any case: what happen when the interior actually is the art?

Miki Matsuyama current exhibition ‘Door to Door’ at Four Art Gallery, explores the theme of interior design. Rather spot on. Short said it is amazing. But the longer version is even more fascinating.

Originally from and currently living in Japan, Matsuyama does most of her research online, via interior design magazines/ websites and even via the ‘discovery page’ on Instagram. Digitally collecting and creating a sort of mood board, here is where she loads up on images and inspiration for her art.

With an background in real estate and a keen interest in interior design Matsuyama re-creates these spaces and while she makes it her own, she generously shares it with her viewer, not only by presenting what is directly in front of us, but due to the tones used and the mood created, it sparks a keen interest for anyone that is watching to daydream about the surrounding and the continuation of the room beyond our direct gaze.

With an extreme attention to detail, she rather successfully manages to depict even the smallest of details, such as the wear on a vintage leather sofa, the folds of a heavy velour curtain fabric or even the signature of a Picasso painting priding the backwall. Matsuyama’s creation of these idyllic spaces is pastel, inviting, fun and

precise and it is the precision that make them so mesmerizing to look at.

Although the final work of art is linear and clearly presented she is not a perfectionist, using pencil and acrylic paint on canvas Matsuyama starts by drawing up the scene and she almost never uses an eraser, wanting to embrace the imperfections rather than hide them. With many influences and inspiring artistic icons, Matsuyama does not only collect inspiration from across the sea but as she is from an artistic family where her grandparents were once active painters she now as third creative generation uses her grandmothers’ tools with pride.

Ultimately these scenes that she re-creates, that she depicts, are places of longing and of admiration. They range from the Swedish top model, Elsa Hosk’s Scandinavian design inspired apartment in New York, to the Côte d’Azur Hotel Les Roches Rouges and on to the 1910 Belgian House Designed by Pierre Yovanovitch.

There is a direct homage to fellow artist as well from one of her personal favorites of Picasso, to the American painter, sculptor and photographer Cy Twombly. In one of her works we find Twombly in a relaxed pose at his home in Rome, there is a female figure in the back, the scene is set with canvases sporadically left around the floor and one of his ‘Untitled’ paintings are hanging beside him on the wall.

Another canvas of Matsuyama brings us instead to the sunny pool side of California, and as I cannot help myself to come to think of David Hockney, this one is by the interior designer Kelly Wearstler.

A personal favourite is probably the Mirrors designed by Gio Ponti, that divides and yet unites the space, they both hide and reflects the room.

So, via a usage of multi channels of inspiration, heritage, daydreaming, work experience and love for both interiors and art Matsuyama successfully blends it all together and presents it in a beautiful way. While stressing the fact of space, she also give us hope to dream that one day we too can visit these special spaces and when we do we might just look at them a little differently.
In the meanwhile, we’re invited to come along to enjoy them and experience them with her, here on canvas.


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