Tomona Matsukawa My flower will never die
Yuka Tsuruno Gallery is pleased to present Tomona Matsukawa’s solo exhibition “My flower will never die” from January 29th to February 19th, 2022. In her first solo exhibition in two years, she presents new works reconsidering the standpoint of the mother. By painting the relationship between parent and child while giving thought to the perspective of the child, she pursues a more expansive rapport that is not bound by this relationship.
Matsukawa conducts interviews with women of similar age or who are living in similar circumstances, and selects meaningful events or phrases from these conversations as the painting’s image or its title. Her works articulate the nature of human interactions and interior complexities that manifest in traces of daily life or gestures, as well as the conflict or desires that inhabit them. Scenes and objects from everyday life are painted up close in hyperrealistic fashion, and the theatrical light allows these sentiments to linger in silence while retaining their striking impression. Her subjects change as she grows older – the young women who appeared in her early works gradually become mothers, acutely observing the aging of the body, accepting the intricate sentiments that accompany the passage of time such as anxieties, pain, and weakness, and her works take on an affirming tone. In particular, in the series “Love Yourself” (2018-), her works are imbued with a strong urge for women who live as parents to not be stifled by the pressures and social prejudices, and to love themselves.
Yet several years since she started this series, in dealing with an adolescent child, she starts to wonder whether her own child is experiencing the same sort of solitude and anxiety that she harbored towards her own mother. In recent conversations with other women, she inquires about memories with their own mothers. Instead of a mere one way outlook on the conflicts and complications of a mother, she contemplates an opportunity for healing in this relationship by considering the regard a child holds for their mother.
Based on such interviews, her new work examines the continuing relationship of the mother-child, as well as a “chain reaction” that persists like a hex between parent and child, and re-considers the position or existence of the mother from this point of view. This chain reaction holds the possibility of reproduction as the social responsibility or pressures of the mother-child become rooted in various forms such as concealed loneliness or absence of affection, child abuse problems, children who “become possessions” from being bound to overbearing love or expectations. Taking into account this kind of chain reaction that is in no way easily ruptured, to consider the viewpoint of the child is, for Matsukawa, to “slay (overcome) the mother as a daughter,” while being in the position of a mother, as well as a catalyst for creating relations as an individual as well as a process for freeing oneself.
Born in 1987 in Aichi. Matsukawa graduated from Tama Art University in 2011, having specialized in oil painting. Her recent exhibitions include Small is Beautiful XXXIX (Flowers Gallery, London, 2021), Kaoru Ueda and Realistic Painting (The Museum of Modern Art, Ibaraki, 2021), MAM Collection 011: Yokomizo Shizuka + Matsukawa Tomona – The Personal Time We Are Living (Mori Museum, Tokyo, 2019), Roppongi Crossing 2016: My Body, Your Voice (Mori Museum, Tokyo), and Artist Meets Kurashiki vol.12 Tomona Matsukawa (Ohara Museum of Art, Okayama, 2016). She was a finalist for the Asian Art Award (2017), and was awarded the Fukazawa Ichiro Memorial Award (2011) and The 25th Holbein Scholarship (2010). Her works are in the collections of the Ohara Museum, the Mori Museum, the Takahashi Collection, as well as the Pigozzi Collection.
My flower will never die
Date: January 29 – February 19, 2022
Opening hours: Tue – Sat, 11am – 6pm
* Closed on Sunday, Monday, and National holidays