Ryusho Matsuo, Shosaku Miyata & Noriko Saito at Galerie Papist + Beyenburg, Cologne, Germany (1996)

R. J. Preece
artdesigncafé - art | 25 February 2011
This article was previously published in Asian Art News, 6(6), November 1996, pp. 82-3.

Yume (Dream) contains the work of three Japanese [artists]— Ryusho Matsuo, Shosaku Miyata, and Noriko Saito.

Ryusho Matsuo, better known for his expressive paintings with gestured bursts of color, simultaneously conjures up images of eastern calligraphy and western Abstract Expressionism. These two influences manifest themselves in strong and bright colors to provide striking color contrasts, layered in depth. For Dream, Matsuo, utilizing his expressive style, created an installation of 40 ceramic objects which decrease in number as the show progresses, and disappears like a dream.

Shosaku Miyata presents two ordinary houseplants, a yucca plant and a rubber tree, with quotes from Nietzsche’s Zarathustra entitled The trees of knowledge of good and [evil]. One of these houseplants he applies letters juxtaposing the rubber tree and “The Money” with the yucca palm and “The end of everything; that’s how conceited they are.” Miyata’s work not only raises traditional questions concerning materials for an art object, as well as the use of language in the environment as conceptual art, but also displays a concern for the growing gap between the meaning and the being of things.

Noriko Saito, working with acrylic, mixed media, and tempera, offers colorful blends for highly abstracted forms which create a strong sense of depth. Her work is one of isolation. In Venezia I, she presents very cool colors and blending suggesting a cool, foggy day walking alone along the Grand Canal. In Lichtquelle (Light Source), she presents layers of warming color bursts— orange, yellow, and white— heightened by its juxtaposition to works like Venezia I, the work is reminiscent of the psychological warmth of a summer day.

Overall, the show presents a pleasant, cheerful, and mid-summerish display of color, concept, and composition. While the artists approached the vague theme of Yume (Dream), they do so in different ways: dream as a perceptual event, as with the disappearing ceramics, dream as awakening with Shosaku Miyata’s work, and dream as a hazy, psychological impression. All encourage the viewer to rethink their approaches to the theme.