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Ryo Matsuoka: Sky beyond words

21 June - 3 August



WKM Gallery is pleased to present ‘Sky beyond words.’, a solo exhibition by Ryo Matsuoka. This exhibition marks Matsuoka’s second exhibition with WKM Gallery, having participated in the gallery’s inaugural group exhibition, ‘Metamorphosis: Japan’s Evolving Society’, in November 2023.

For this exhibition, Matsuoka will be presenting an exhibition of embroidered textile works of various sizes. For Matsuoka, working with textiles is interchangeable with a paintbrush, pencils, or the written word. However, what separates sewing and textiles from painting is the constraints and parameters set by the sewing machine itself. The sewing machine presents a more narrow frame of vision – the lines are created by the needle, thread, and the push and pull of the fabric – but it is the actual restriction of physical space in which to manoeuvre that creates for an interesting process.

To create a line in a different direction requires the physical manipulation of the fabric, moving it around the single point of the needle, lifting and turning as he moves across the surface of the fabric. Changing colours also requires the machine to be rethreaded with a different spool of thread, whilst the layering of these different colours on top of one another creates a depth of texture and adds weight to the surface of the material in a way that differs from a painting. Using a sewing machine also prevents the entire fabric from being seen as whole or from a distance, meaning that Matsuoka is working with the materials at close proximity, focusing purely on the motion of production. This spontaneous use of fabric and thread brings to mind the work of Sonia Delaunay, whose exploration of geometry and colour through textiles, as well as many other mediums, focuses on the unification of sensation and colour. Like Delaunay, Matsuoka’s works are an expression of feeling and emotion through the abstract form, sewn together with lines of thread.


Born 1974 in Tokyo, Japan. Lives and works in Tokyo.
Ryo Matsuoka is a uniquely instinctual artist who works in a wide range of media; from painting, drawing, embroidery, murals and large-scale installations. He began drawing at an early age and developed his practice in the Tokyo street art scene of the 1990s and through his travels, memories of which have provided rich inspiration for his work.

Matsuoka’s vibrant and bold style has also been recognised by the fashion world, with several notable fashion brands and Maisons working with him on collaborative pieces for their collections and store exhibitions, namely Yohji Yamamoto, Joyce Hong Kong, L'ECLAIREUR Paris, Louis Vuitton, amongst others.


21 June
3 August
Event Category:


WKM Gallery

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