News from Tomokazu Matsuyama

Dirimart is pleased to announce Tomokazu Matsuyama’s public projects United We Stand Divided  and Nirvana Tropicana in collaboration with Yanköşe and Galataport. Both large scale sculptures by Matsuyama will be exhibited upon invitation by IKSV as an official collateral project to the 17th Istanbul Biennial. 

New York-based Japanese artist is known for his works that entangle cultural parameters. The elements of iconography, fashion, design and architecture, that are carefully classified by art historians and showcased in the museums, are being reorganised by the artist in his works and represented as part of an intricate entity. By blending various forms, patterns, attributes in his paintings, murals, sculptures and video works, the artist aims to create the impressions of “global us.” 

Today’s border-free nonphysical internet space shapes individuals’ physical and psychological identities. Information that one consumes through screens, leading several categorizations, is considered a type of intellectual wealth. Matsuyama regards his works as a neutralisation of this idealisation process through juxtaposition of notion fragments belonging to national and cultural norms. Transforming personal and collective histories into his artistic vision, the artist remains critical yet seeks to stay accessible, approachable and joyful to the audience.

For Yanköşe, Matsuyama re-imagines his sculpture He Sits She Reads (2021) as a large installation. For Istanbul, the city facing daily flow of people from different cultures, the artist expresses his perception on the blend of gender and cultural indicators in the moment of multiplication of identity of new generations. The 17-meter-long work United We Stand Divided depicts two intertwined figures that are composed with historical decorative floral patterns representing East and West. Istanbul: the city with a history composed of mixture of multiple cultures. And the combined portraits of two persons morphing diverse identities, hover in the cityscape as a reminder of how layered the contemporary culture is.

At the Museum Square at Galataport, Matsuyama places his Nirvana Tropicana (2020) sculpture he created in the midst of the natural catastrophes, Covid19 and windstorm, that hit New York city in row. Due to lockdowns, the city never sleeps seemed deserted, civilization ceased operating, culture wasn’t active, and nature was collapsing. Facing these realities, Matsuyama feels the weight of having to rebuild endlessly. This relentless internal drive is being portraited with body fragments knotted with vegetal elements and patterns, creating plurality of viewpoints that could be described as Cubist.