1982 Born in Tokyo,Japan
Yamanashi Gakuin University
The world that Makiko Masutani creates is filled with fragments of memories from everyday life. Ordinary objects are painted in beautiful colors; flowing in the picture. Until recently, Masutani often painted on a square canvas, (the shape of a handkerchief or scarf), as a way of symbolically capturing the season, time, and scent of her memories on a familiar object that she likely carried all the time. Many of her past works have a patterned surface, resembling a motif on a scarf. In her new body of work, she takes on a further challenge by ‘recreating the light at the time and weaving together a new scenery.’
Makiko Masutani does not record memories; rather, she portrays fragments of the memories. There is a series of work in which she uses a square–shaped canvas, a shape she associates to that of a scarf. Sometimes, she repeatedly depicts things that are not special, ordinary objects in our everyday life; other times, she layers the images onto each other, and composes a work that combines ‘a sight’ with ‘a site’ that she happens to stumble upon.
On one occasion, the object can be a potted morning glory and a shovel that she must have seen in the backyard; on others, it can be her shoes, belt or wardrobe that she wears in her daily life. Even things that can be associated to jam-packed train in the morning such as neckties and hanging straps become the subjects of her painting. By juxtaposing and then intricately combining images, she patternize, deform and apply those familiar objects into her composition. As if her task is to distilling them into pieces, the knotted scarf does not show the pattern in entirety - only fragments are allowed to peek out from it.
Ms. Masutani’s work also attempts to captures the intangibles such as emotion that springs out of her, as well as impression, atmosphere and scent she senses looking at objects. A departure from her present practice of repeatedly extracting and patternizing motifs from everyday life, her next challenge is to leave visual imprints of personal perceptual experience such as specific time and light onto her work. By leaving imprints with her hand-made stamps on several images that symbolize fragments of memories, landscape that differs from a layer of realistic scenery surfaces. The visualization of the personal view of the world which derived from her own memory has extended out now to the external world, and is beginning to evolve into a catalyst to interact with the wider society.
Sachie Kamiya（Director of Gallery, Japan Society, New York）