Hiroko Matsushita is a Japanese artist, living in the Netherlands since 2019. With her passion to make a cultural bridge between Japan and the Netherlands, she joined JACCU to widen people’s perspectives, especially through the field of art and design.

Our content editor, Réka Koleszar interviewed Hiroko about herself and her work. Here is the first part of the interview:

Could you tell us a bit about yourself and your area of work?

It is always difficult to describe my area of work in a few words. With an academic background in Illustration, I work as a paper illustrator to create visual images for such things as advertisements and window displays. Alongside commercial work, I also create art installations and sculptural work as an artist. The common ground between my commercial work and self-directed work is the material: paper.

Book cover illustration. One of a series of 13 artworks. Client: Yamato Ltd.
Photographer : Caroline Wimmer

Magazine illustration, Client: Kodansha Ltd.
Photographer : Masaki Ogawa

Paper is a very interesting material, and it intrigues me in different ways. Although from my childhood, I was already familiar with paper like many other Japanese by playing origami and living in a house with Shoji (interior paper screens), my interest in paper was sparked during my Illustration study in the UK, when I first saw contemporary paper craft and the wide application of paper in the creative field.

To me, paper’s adaptability and familiarity to everyone are what drew me to this material in the first place. The subtleness of paper cutting evokes the sense of touching and seeing. I started exploring material and technique in order to bring the volume and depth into illustration as well as experimenting with light and shadow. Since then, the realm of my work has expanded also as an art form, connected to my interest in being female.

In between, 2011
Material: paper, MDF, light

Dualism in storytelling, Book art, 2011
Material: paper, pencil drawing

Shadow of Light, 2013, Art installation in Mino Artist Residency program

Material: Washi paper, light, wood
Dimension: W 7.0 m x H 3.3 m

At JACCU, as a member of the Art Committee, I would like to not only promote artworks that are relevant to Japan, but also encourage art projects from a cultural, socio-political perspective. I believe that this is important for the development of a deeper understanding of Japan.

Click here to read the next article about Hiroko Matsushita’s experience in art and feminism as a female artist from Japan.




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