Award winning Japanese artist Michiko Fujii Fowler explores how space is altered by the painting process. She is intrigued by a painting’s duality of space: the illusive space within a painting and the physical space of a painting. Fowler explains, “I believe that a painting has two layered spaces: one is fictional space that is depicted in the painting, and another is a real space that is the painting itself. Generally, when we look at a painting, we focus on the fictional space. However, what we are really looking at is an object called a painting and material called paint.” A major contributor to a painting’s physical space is the multi-layered material that projects into the viewer’s space. It is often difficult for audiences to toggle their perspectives of a painting between its subject and its physical existence, after all the fundamental identity of a painting is found on its painted surface. Fowler creates illusions that invoke regard for her paintings as physical objects.
Matter Makes Space is Michiko Fujii Fowler’s first major museum exhibition in the United States. A native of Japan, Fowler has lived and painted in San Francisco, CA since 2008. Her work is featured in the permanent collection of the Saku Museum of Modern Art and has appeared in a variety of exhibitions. She lived as an artist-in-residence at the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris in 2007 and received the Sokei Award and the Takazawa Award from the Sokei Academy of Fine Art & Design in Tokyo.