Tomokazu Matsuyama

(Japanese, born 1976)

Traditional Japanese icons and imagery and the American visual motifs of street art and Abstract Expressionism led Tomokazu Matsuyama to a distinct personal aesthetic. Using intensely colorful acrylic on canvas, he begins with an abstract background, then layers figures mined from Edo Japanese and American traditions, repetitive shapes, and patterns. These paintings are often mural-sized, referencing both classical Japanese wall painting and graffiti simultaneously. For Matsuyama, they are statements about the impact of globalization on individual cultural identity.