18 February to 21 March 2015


Nao Matsunaga further explores his ongoing fascination with ceremonial objects and archetypes through otherworldly ceramic sculptures and abstract works on paper.

Matsunaga’s interest in ritualistic objects, mythical beasts and cultural symbols became enhanced during his period as ceramic artist-in-residence at the Victoria and Albert Museum in 2014. Mysterious motifs run throughout this upcoming show in the forms of talismanic sculptures, totemic wooden elements and vibrant spirited paintings.

Working intuitively with his materials and adopting a process where something unknown or unexpected can not only happen, but is actively welcomed, adds a liberated intensity to his practice. The time-consuming nature of Matsunaga's approach, combined with zealous mark-making and the restrained yet precarious elements of his structures, ensure each piece is firmly established within the realms of both the everyday and the extraordinary.

Image: Nao Matsunaga, Untitled, ceramic (2014). Photo © Lauren Mclean.

Born in Japan, NAO MATSUNAGA trained at the University of Brighton before completing an MA in Ceramics and Glass at the Royal College of Art. He makes strange and elusive sculpture and works on paper often inspired by ceremonial objects and spaces. He works with dualities and contradictions that include his use of clay with wood, his juxtapositions of matt surface and runs of glassy glaze, and his mix of organic and geometric elements. His practice speaks of enduring human concerns and personal and collective experience.

Matsunaga has exhibited widely, and completed a six-month ceramics residency at the Victoria and Albert Museum in 2014, where he is included in the public collection. He was one of the five finalists of the Jerwood Makers Open in 2012 and won the British Ceramics Biennial Award in 2013.

For more information, images, or to arrange an interview with the artist please contact Siobhan Feeney or Tatjana Marsden
tel: +44(0)20 7336 6396

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