Tomokazu Matsuyama

'Episodes Far From Home'


Opening on Thursday, April 20, 2023 from 6 to 8 pm

Inquire about the exhibition:

The gallery is open from 10am until 6pm.

Press release

Pattern Language 

If you could read a pattern like a page in a book, the intricate textiles and wallpapers in Tomokazu Matsuyama’s paintings would speak volumes. Colourful motifs crowd the dense, graphical surfaces of his works, forming garden vistas or intimate boudoirs. Their origins are eclectic: a luscious floral might be drawn from a print by 19th century British designer William Morris or from an Edo Period kimono. In a bed of plants from divergent climes, an empty Sapporo bottle and a Starburst wrapper lie like the detritus of globalisation. A portrait inspired by a photograph of French couturier Christian Dior, meanwhile, bears the golden flourishes of a counterfeit Hermes scarf that Matsuyama bought in New York’s garment district. Completed on dynamically shaped canvases, these paintings take their compositional cues from Grand Manner portraits or pastorals in the pre-modern European tradition, while their use of skewed perspectives and absence of shading recall the flat planes of Japanese woodblock prints known as ukiyo-e. Signifiers of East and West are willfully scrambled here, as are renditions of the ‘real’ and the ‘fake.’ In Matsuyama’s work, as with his own diasporic identity, such differences are shaky social constructions.

— Evan Moffitt, writer, editor and critic