“What is Mont Saint-Clair dreaming of ?”: Yuka Matsui, Japanese calligraphy artist, paints the mountain in the sea

“What is Mont Saint-Clair dreaming of ?”: Yuka Matsui, Japanese calligraphy artist, paints the mountain in the sea

Yuka Matsui, la calligraphe japonaise, expose ses variations picturales à la librairie l'Echappée Belle. Hélène Amiraux

A lover of Sète and Mont Saint-Clair, calligraphy artist Yuka Matsui offers a series of 15 pictorial variations at the Échappée belle gallery, until July 13.

Japanese performing calligrapher Yuka Matsui returns to Sète this summer, with an exhibition inspired by a very local emblem, Mont Saint-Clair. A series of pictorial works, inviting bright colors on washi paper, called "The thirty-six views of Mont Saint-Clair". "What is Mont Saint-Clair dreaming of ?"asks the artist to create a sort of dialogue between the kami – Japanese spirit of a person or place – of the singular hill and that of Mount Fuji, of which the great Japanese painter Hokusaï, from the Edo period to the middle of the 19th century, had also imagined 36 views.

"The Saint-Clair, I made a character out of him"

Paintings with evocative titles, At the mirror of the lagoon, Le mont citron, or even Outre-mont Saint-Clair, in reference to Soulages with whom the Japanese exchanged from 2018, then took shape. It was at this time that she "discovered the Saint-Clair, the magnificent blue of the sky , the light reflected in the sea. In this series I made a character of it", describes the artist dressed in the traditional kimono.

For the moment, fifteen paintings, created in Japan, variations in three colors each of the famous Mont Saint-Clairien, are currently visible on the gallery walls of the Échappée belle bookstore. Yuka Matsui, who paints with a single gesture, had the opportunity to create the first two views of his series in residence at the ATENA gallery last year.

On one of them, the artist enjoys mirroringThe great wave, famous Sète photograph by Gustave le Gray and the no less famous stamp by Hokusai (1830), today an icon of pop culture.

Art of shift

In a game of compartmentalization with the support, Yuka Matsui is halfway between traditional Japanese art and contemporary art which is reminiscent of certain forms of Japanese art. arte povera. "I collected wood from sliding doors and windows from old Japanese houses. Light enters but we cannot see outside, only shadows. These houses are disappearing, because they are not isolated enough. In Japan, there is no real conservation. The artist cuts this wood Shōji to make small loggias, from which emerge colors and contrasts. The result is a style that mixes the very Western style of Charlotte Perriand with "tigaidana", the art of shifting in Japanese architecture.

To get to know his world better, Yuka Matsui meets for a signing session for the illustrated poetry book Elements this Wednesday, July 10, from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., at the Échappée belle bookstore.

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