Described as a ‘hyperkinetic tableau with a dream-like mood’, Tomokazu Matsuyama’s work is accessible: An energetic, techno-coloured narrative, that while engagingly figurative, presents an ethereal manifestation of contemporary urbanized culture. Cultivating the creative freedom of the outsider in Japan and America, he announces his arrival as an accessible and therefore powerful interpretive filter of cultural elements and visual themes.
Matsuyama works from Brooklyn, comfortable in the multi-cultural freedom of New York yet acknowledging the evolving significance of Japanese culture on his work. His artistic passion is driven by identity crisis and a desire to comprehend the mélange of bi-cultural experiences that constitute his biography. From the position of outsider, he requisitions images – traditional and contemporary – with an enviable freedom that creates an individual dialogue and artistic tropes addressing the fragmentation of contemporary experience.
He aims to communicate with universally recognizable symbols and techniques, visual and non-visual, multi-layered and metaphorical, to invite subjective interpretations:
‘I’m trying to gather together as many highly specific, local visual dialects as possible, to foster an international visual dialogue. This iconography contains elements of East and West, contemporary and historical, ornamental and conceptual. By integrating all of this cohesively I can create internal collisions, elements fighting against one another. This reflects the chaotic situation of our time. It would be nice, a kind of bonus, if my works could question viewers about their own identities…’