Rui Matsunaga

Rui Matsunaga

London, UK

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Rui Matsunaga was born in Japan. She trained at the Royal Academy of Art Schools and Central Saint Martin’s in London. Until recently Matsunaga lived and worked in the UK, recently returning to Japan. Solo exhibitions include the Paper Gallery in Manchester (2019), House of St. Barnabas in London (2016) and numerous group shows including the John Moores Painting Prize (2012), Royal Albert Memorial Museum in Exeter (2016) and the Torrance Art Museum in Los Angeles (2011). Her works are in the collections of the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, University of Arts London, The Atkinson, Soho House in Amsterdam, House of St. Barnabas, and Museum of Senegalia in Italy among others. The small creatures in the work can be seen as spirits of nature and also morphed projections of our human existence exploring our poetic, fragile and sometimes treacherous relationship to nature. They are inspired by a mythological way of thinking, in which human and other beings are not so different, constantly communicating and even interchangeable. One of major sources of inspiration are old Japanese scroll paintings (emakimono), especially 12th century Chōjū-jinbutsu-giga, which are visually woven with animism and possess an ambiguous story-telling in contrast to biblical story of apocalypse.