Soshiro Matsubara is an atypical Japanese insofar as he lives at the antipodes of minimalism in the capital of the ornamental: Vienna. His art is the result of a fascinating combination of black humour, refined historical references, aesthetic dandyism and iconographic eccentricity. Soshiro loves pop music as the ultimate repository of collective desires. His favourite song is ‘Sweet Memories’ by Seiko Matsuda, of which he created a memorable cover version.
Soshiro is a samurai of art. He contemplates spaces, objects and people, and then translates them into formally and conceptually rich and layered objects and environments, populated by ceramics, paintings and installations.
He finds inspiration in imagery from the books, magazines, objects and paintings he collects in markets or antique shops. A good number of them end up on Haus Der Matsubara: the IG account of the shop of the same name (an online antique store run by the artist). Parallel to his individual practice, he is one of the founders of the XYZ collective, which not only holds exhibitions in various places but also runs its own space in Tokyo.
Matsubara’s world is a labyrinth pervaded by obsessions that, with a gentle sadism, drag the visitor along accommodating and astonishingly perturbing paths. When you come out, you will want to memorise Seiko Matsuda’s entire discography, imagining her duetting with Keiji Haino inside the Kokoshka Haus in Pöchlarn. [Luca Lo Pinto]