Takashi Matsuyama

Institute: Tell us about your artistic background?

I was brought up by my family who have an interest in art. My mother often took me to galleries and museums as a child, I feel so lucky now looking back it is an incredible environment for a child. Now as an adult i see that contemporary art has one problem and that is the wall between art and some people. Many people feel “art is just a strange thing” and they have no interest in art. Some artists are even thinking of ways to solve the problem. But feel the opposite, art is my life, my environment I feel art is a part of our lives and is around us everywhere and every day.

A good education was very important for me as a child also. I think Japanese education has a lot of problems. In this age, we should enjoy life and international life. But Japanese educational institution forces conformity like democracy and many Japanese teachers do not students to express themselves, instead they tell them how to behave. I feel lucky, I escaped the democratic education and I think that was a very important thing as an artist, as I am a human.

Institute: What made you take the career path of a musician?

My family has always had an interest in art and they have a strong interest music especially. My mother and her sister studied classical music and my grandmother is an instructor of Japanese traditional music.

Institute: Does originating from Japan heavily influence your work?

Yes, very much so. Japanese culture and society is my key for creating new work. Knowing my identity is very important some Japanese seem to feel my work is somewhat foreign to them but some of my work is all based around my love for Japan.

Institute: What is the creative process when writing new material?

I don’t know when the first step is… Firstly I treasure the concept and my view followed by the music, my voice, the video and then painting. For me it is very tangled complex. I just remember to keep in mind the famous words of Jackson Pollock “Process is important.”

Institute: Where do you think trends are created?

I think finding trends is a little difficult now. Our lives, views and opinions are becoming wider every day. The Internet gives us so much information so we only know the trends that we are seeing online, on TV or in magazines. I think we are finding or making trends ourselves by choices rather than waiting for a trend to come to us.
Institute: Whose work inspires you most and where do you turn for inspiration?

Artists inspire me the most. I also gain so much inspiration from the world that we live in and the environment we are surrounded by. Just the sound of a plastic bottle that I drop on the floor can even inspire! Even sound inspires me, I think our environment is full of stuff for create art from and there are great things in the world if we just listen out for them

Institute: What has been your career highlight to date?

This is like a question to the departed? Highlight is a terrible word for me because I feel I have yet to create my greatest piece, I feel like as an artist I am constantly growing and constantly learning as of yet I am not satisfied with my work, therefore have no highlight…Greedy creation is the power of my life.

Institute: What can we expect to see from Takashi Matsuyama next year?

I am creating new work about “Ki Re Tsu” this has been ongoing to two years now and is a big project. The works will be created using all my personal items and belongings. I am also working on a new collaboration It is all about supporting other artists, which I am also very looking forward to releasing. I am also working on lots of other new works using all my personal things…

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