Fuyuko Matsui (b. 1974) is a female Japanese artist, specializing in Nihonga paintings with a 'grotesque' or supernatural element. Her art has been widely exhibited in Japan and she has been featured on TV and magazines. She was one of the featured artists at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo's "Annual 2006" exhibition and at the Yokohama Museum of Art's "Nihonga Painting: Six Provocative Artists" in August 2006. Since then she has been concentrating on graduating from the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts & Music.
Despite its often shocking aspects, she claims that her art is part of the tradition of Japanese art going back centuries. For example, her painting "Insane Woman under the Cherry Tree" (2006) is inspired by "Ogress under Willow Tree," a painting by Soga Shohhaku (1730--1781), the iconoclastic Edo-period painter, who was influenced by the art of the Muromachi Era painter Soga Jasoku (d. 1483).
Part of her interest in the past comes from her background. She grew up in Mori, Shizuoka Prefecture in a house that had been in her family for 14 generations.
"I don't like sweet and cute art, Japanese art nowadays is like that, but if we think in centuries, in the Kamakura period for example, it was scarier, more ghostly. I want to return to that taste in my art."
"I want to create a sympathy, a strong feeling, between the viewer and myself, in a way I'm doing something that the viewer can't do himself. It's like people who occasionally think about jumping under a train. In my art I'm actually jumping under the train. That shock -- I'm doing it for you." (Fuyuko Matsui)
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