The fascinating works of Yuki Matsueda pop out of their box enclosures and frames, penetrating the viewer’s space. Yolks fly out of eggs, figures jump out of exit signs, and kings and queens leap out of playing cards. Matsueda was born in Ibaraki prefecture in 1980. He won the 2010 Nippon Paint Design Center Award and graduated from Tokyo University of the Arts with a PhD in 2010. He has shown in numerous group and solo exhibitions throughout Asia and Europe.
Escape seems to be the main theme of Matsueda’s sculptural work. The artist takes objects, signs, and objects of everyday life, mounts them on a wall or on a pedestal, and then appears to deconstruct them by having an important element of those everyday objects fly off the image surface. Meanwhile the work itself seems to struggle with the rebellious parts trying to escape from it. The clear acrylic wrapping of the sculptures, which bends around the shapes of the objects attempting escape, ultimately acts as a barrier to the outside world, constraining them within a kind of impenetrable shrink-wrap.
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Perhaps Matsueda is making a comment on the desire for individuality and escape from pre-existing rules and norms, as well as the inevitable pushback that comes from pre-existing structures that attempt to smother that individuality. In other words, the main theme of the work is the struggle for and against non-conformity.
The sleekness of the pieces’ presentation is worth noting as well. Matsueda has a design background and much of the power of his art comes from the skill of its making and its refined and hyper-real appearance. The works almost look like high-gloss advertising. Their lustrous appearance adds an extra visual punch, a visceral power that stays with you long after the viewer has seen them.