Keiko Matsui: upcoming artist-in-residence

Keiko Matsui, Still Life Torn, 2011, porcelain, dimensions variable

Keiko Matsui was born in Osaka, Japan, and immigrated to Australia in 1999. In 2006 she completed her Bachelor of Fine Arts (Honours) majoring in Ceramics at the National Art School, East Sydney. She has exhibited widely in Australia and overseas and been awarded several prizes including the Woollahra Small Sculpture Prize, the Fete Picasso Small Object prize in France and she was also an exhibiting finalist in the John Fries Memorial Prize 2011. Recently Matsui received an ArtStart Grant from the Australian Council of the Arts. Her ceramics can be found at Object Gallery in Surry Hills, the S. H. Ervin Gallery on Observatory Hill, the Sturt Gallery in Mittagong, Craft Victoria in Melbourne and National Gallery shop in Canberra. Along with her practice, she teaches ceramics to children and adults in Bondi.

Keiko Matsui, Still Life Torn, 2011, detail view

I am a Japanese born, Sydney based, ceramic artist. My Japanese heritage, with its long history of and respect for ceramics, combined with the experience of living in Australia, an innovative new culture, are the major influences in my work. 

I focus on making forms that act as my canvas. I have been practising calligraphy and drawing since I was small and I now find joy in using Australian porcelain to give my lines form and shape. Porcelain can be difficult to work with but the invitation of its pure whiteness, translucency, density and surface qualities more than compensate for any problems. It is through clay that I express my emotions and through this ongoing journey of process; refining surface, texture and colour, is similar to a path of self-discovery. 

Researching form and colour in nature gives me fresh ideas for new work. I look to nature for motives to draw onto my ceramics so while at the residency in Gunyah I would explore and sketch the area then apply these botanical or landscape motives to my ceramics when back in the studio. By visiting new places and investigating different shapes and colours I refresh my eye. The idea of working at Gunyah is exciting also because it would allow me to explore my long held desire to make vessels from leaves, twigs, paper and fabric. 

I look forward to being be isolated from my busy city-life whilst at Gunyah, no instant communication for a week would enable me to clear my mind and let in new creative ideas, to totally concentrate on my work. It will be a welcomed meditation for me.
(Keiko Matsui, July 2011)