Frame 61

Ryota Matsumoto

Frame 61
Ryota Matsumoto

About the artist: I was born in Tokyo and had spent most of my childhood and the better part of my 20’s in Hong Kong, the United States and Britain. My experience of living and studying abroad at an early age has certainly fostered my creativity and helps me to approach things from multiple angles. My interest in technology, science and art initially led me to take up architecture as my profession. While I practice as a designer, I always paint whenever time allows. I always feel that both fields have certain similarities in terms of creative outlets and complement each other well as far as visual communication methods are concerned. Suffice to say that art and architecture share a lot in common in terms of engaging with forms, structures and color. So I could say both pathways merged naturally for me ever since I graduated from the college.

Mixed media, process: It might be apt to call my method, the digital hybrid technique. I construct base 2D/3D images digitally and then add layers of traditional medias such as acrylic, ink and graphite as well as scanned images of found objects over them. They are further processed and manipulated through algorithmic and stochastic operations by various image processing software. The technique allows me to instill a warm human touch and painterly, organic feels to otherwise cold and detached precision of digital drawings.

Spend your day: I still work on architectural and urban design projects from time to time. Those experiences often turn out to be the source of great inspiration for my art-related projects. 

Time: It usually takes a week or two at the longest. Some of my work cycle through phases and take several months to complete. In such cases, I disassemble/reassemble fragments of old drawings and found images, and then repeat the process over and over again until I find unpredictable dialogues among them. It is almost autonomous, experimental approach to generate a dozen versions of completely new compositions.

Experiences: My over 20 years experience as an architectural designer and urban planner help me to approach my work with a broad and different perspective. It also allows me to establish my own personal workflow and technique as an artist from early on.

Architecture and art: The themes of my work revolve around the spatio-temporal conditions of our ever-evolving urban and ecological environments as characterized by various modes or multitudes of spatial practices produced by different societies. The whole nature of cities can be characterized by dichotomy and contrapuntal relationship among organic and inorganic, structural and amorphous as well as small objects and large structures.

These seemingly polar opposite elements could integrate with each other and morph into totally new structures of the spatial and temporal variations in my paintings. Furthermore, the paradox, contradiction and distortion of an alternate perception towards space and time have also been a constant subject of interest. In short, most of my work is meant to bridge the gap between architecture and art, two cultural realms, which reflect on contemporary society and to transcend or merge the bounds of them as my own artistic expression.

Titles: I collect the fragments of words from different places and piece them together as my work moves along. I often use writings of Dada and Surrealist writers or even technical terms taken from music compositions to generate new titles. Most of titles are not necessarily associated with artworks. Nevertheless, I hope the combination of the title and image evoke a particular mood or imaginary setting for viewers.

Starting a new piece: I usually started out with hand-drawn drafts and refined them through CAD and 3D modeling software. It is most likely much closer to the approach that architects and graphic designers are inclined to take on.

Influences: I see my work as being informed by my years of architectural training and tend to focus on the interaction between two-dimensional and three-dimensional forms and the ambiguity that is created among them. This often involves the interplay, juxtaposition and contradiction of objects of varying scales and depths that co-exist within the same framework of space-time continuum.

Future: I plan to take part in group exhibitions in the United States and Europe from the beginning of this year.

If you would like to see more of the artist's work click here for their website.

Publishing date of this interview 12/01/16