- Fumi Matsumoto
- The Roby King Gallery
- 176 Winslow Way E. (206-842-2063)
- Bainbridge Island, WA
Fumi Matsumoto is exhibiting her linoleum prints this month at the Roby King Gallery from September 4 to 27. Matsumoto lives in Juneau and much of her work involves images from that region.
Lino-cut block prints of sea creatures, land animals and fowl populate her prints. These are well done, graphically rendered images. The block prints are often repeated around the larger surface, creating sequences such as a paddling of ducks or a sedge of cranes.
One print, “Dances with Wolves,” is Muybridge-like in that there are three rows of a wolf, repeated. They are in the saunter pose, the rearing up pose and the downward wolf pose. The spirit of these creatures seems light and playful.
The prints are not large, 10 x 10 to 17 x 15 inches. A partial reason for this is each print’s unique underlying medium: tea bags. The print papers are constructed of brewed tea bags, opened, dried and glued to a background paper. Depending on the type of tea and the bag’s opened shape, Matsumoto stacks the bags next to and above the original placement creating unique textured and colored papers. This seems a signature style and method for Matsumoto, and currently a clever recycling of materials. She has, however, been using this method for quite some time.
There is a great, very short (1.12 minutes) video from 2014 of Matsumoto talking of the very basics of her materials and techniques. To see it, go to “Printing on tea bags.”
Matsumoto has also recently offered a different format for her works using shadowboxes. One is available in this show. This is what may be from a seasonal series, such as Autumn or Spring references. These incorporate her block prints but also a collection of images that give a more intricate narrative story.
They seem to draw echoes of a more personal nature, speaking to her personal and cultural experiences. Born in Japan and raised in America from the age of four, Matsumoto reflects both Japanese (mother) and Japanese-American (father and herself) as cultural experiences. Her father, Roy Matsumoto ( a Nisei), was born in California and was sent to an internment camp in Arkansas at the beginning of WWII. He went on to spend 20 years in the U.S. Army, becoming a decorated and honored serviceman.
In 2014, Fumi Matsumoto contributed three of her artworks to the Juneau-Douglas City Museum’s exhibition “The Empty Chair: The Forced Removal & Resettlement of Juneau’s Japanese Community, 1941-1951.”
She also has exhibited work at Seattle’s Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience.
Matsumoto graduated from UC Berkeley and moved to Alaska after college. She identifies as an Alaskan artist and Japanese American.
Matsumoto is exhibiting at Roby King alongside Susan Levan. Levan concentrates on unsentimental images of abstracted cats for this show. Her works are colorful and are a combination of collage and mixed media on large printmakers paper.
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ABOUT BILL BARAN-MICKLE: 2020 Island Treasure Awardee . Recently, Bill has enjoyed exhibiting in several international art biennial exhibitions. Of the three in which he has participated, he won Third Place for Sculpture from the European Confederation of Art Critics in the Chianciamo Biennale, at the Chianciano Art Museum in Italy in 2011, and First Place in Applied Arts in the London Biennale of 2013. In 2013 alone, he will have participated in eight exhibitions: from London to a two-person exhibition near home. In addition, Bill was asked to be a representative for CCAC’s exhibition celebrating 100 years of the Metals Department, and a mix of group shows in New York City, Miami, Seattle and Las Vegas. Bill is the designer of the 10 foot Equitorial Bowstring Sundial located at the Richie Observatory in Battle Point Park on Bainbridge Island, WA and completed in 2015.