Such strange and sensual forms, literally breathed in with life by the artist, hangs like memoirs of random moments that are now given with new importance in the passing of our time.
Created with vinyl glue and manipulated with fans and his own breath, the works by Osaka-born, Paris-based artist Takesada Matsutani are now presented at Hauser & Wirth Hong Kong. Featuring mixed-media paintings he has created during quarantine and other works on paper, as well as site-specific installations, Matsutani continues to contribute to Gutai Art as a key member in this influential Japanese art collective since the post-war period from the 1960s to 1970s.
Gutai, which represents the idea of “letting material and spirit work in conjunction with one another to create something new”, seeks to create art with raw material in its purest gesture. This can be seen by his blood samples-inspired bubble art, which later became ‘Puffed up-1’ (2020) and ‘Puffed up-2’ (2020); broken egg yolks, as imagined in ‘Circle-Yellow A.M.’ (2019); or flesh and wounds, in ‘Slow Slow 20-6-8’ (2020). These dynamic forms each take hours to dry and inflate, making them an interesting juxtaposition with the fleeting moment that it captures. Not to mention, some of his vinyl glue pieces are deliberately countered by hard objects, creating interesting forms that depict the soft layer engulfing the contrasting element and creating a new balance.
Another series of works by Matsutani that has particularly interested us are his works on paper. Limited by his access to art tools when he was living in Paris during the 1970s, he started experimenting with inexpensive materials such as paper and graphite and started reconsidering what art-making means. He started experimenting with pencil strokes on different surfaces and ended up with 40 years’ worth of black and white drawings. As though they are diary entries, each piece became a record of passing time, and when viewed as a whole, is an impressive documentation of the artist’s creative journey.
29 October 2020 – 11 February 2021
Hauser & Wirth Hong Kong: 15-16/F, H Queen’s, 80 Queen’s Road Central, Hong Kong