Sky is the limit


Japan/USA born 1976
arrived USA 2002
Sky is the limit 2014
Stainless steel


Originally created for temporary installation at the entrance to Hong Kong’s popular Harbour City shopping complex, this work involves a fusion of eastern and western sources and narratives. Fabricated in China, Sky is the limit is a hybrid of national, art historical and popular cultural references. As a grand equestrian portrait, the work is based on French artist Jacques-Louis David’s painting Napoleon crossing the Alps (1801). At the same time, the complex tracery of curvilinear steel members recalls the vitality and graphic qualities of Hokusai Manga, a famous series of wood-block printed ‘sketches’ by 19th century Japanese artist Hokusai. Born in rural Japan, Matsuyama was introduced early to Japanese arts and crafts traditions when, aged nine, he moved with his family to California where he was soon accustomed to West Coast’ values. Tertiary education in Japan and America in business studies, communications and design led to employment with Levi Strauss and Nike. Matsuyama’s mature style as painter and sculptor is a synthesis of contrasting influences including Japanese Ukiyo-e prints and the works of Jackson Pollock, Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat.

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