Simply titled New Work, Osamu Matsuda’s prints as the U of A’s international guest-artist in residence in printmaking is simply spectacular. Spectacular in the very root sense of the word, as Matsuda’s pieces are a constant re-evaulation of how we look at the given world. The treat here is that we get to look through Matsuda’s eyes on familiar territory, an act in itself that shifts the way we look at our environment and perhaps shifts the way he looks at his.
Mixing mirrors and video to filter through the layers found in traditional printmaking, what also emerges is a haptic quality to the works that is at once deep and clear.
In following traces of bike and car tire treads, there is an ease of lines, already found in our winter and reconfigured in how one line moves into another. Next to the way the snow appears, a stop-motion (on delay) video loops the movements between the upstairs printmaking lab down the stairs to the outdoor sculpture graveyard. No zooms, no pans, only staccato vantage points that in many ways assemble the half-moments of the way we look at the world in transiting through a liminal space of a stairwell.
The most intriguing piece however may also be the most creative presentation of an artist statement found at any opening. A terminal screen looped a stop motion disassembly of letters set in a press, the very letters that match the artist statement narrating a short personal anecdote of how his first teachers had asked him to just look and draw, and how that request has continued to baffle him.
In the act of looking, there is the how and what that carry and express multiple layers of intentions and meanings. In looking, we are just beginning to understand what we see.