Systema Naturae by Kyoko Matsunaga


The original SYSTEMA NATURAE was one of the major works of Swedish botanist Carolus Linnaeus. He specified the classes and orders of plants, forming the foundation for modern taxonomy. As a result, everything in our world was given a name and classification which developed our society, science and technology. Meanwhile, have we lost our sensibility to what we actually see? Will we be able to escape the obsession to judge and classify?

Encaustic cubes by Japanese artist Kyoko Matsunaga composed of a wood cube layered with paper, paint and wax. Lovely sculptural pieces produced in an edition of 10. Text on cubes is quoted from SYSTEMA NATUR AE (10th edition) - by Carolus Linnaeus 1758

Artist Bio

Kyoko Matsunaga (b. 1981 Hyogo, Japan) is a mixed media and book artist. She graduated from Kyoto Seika University with a BFA in Printmaking. After graduation, she moved to Tokyo and studied with a bookbinder, Yo Yamazaki, to shape her book art more unerringly. Her work has been exhibited in Japan and abroad. Kyoko has lived in the Bay Area since 2010. Artist Statement The main expressive mediums of Kyoko Matsunaga are mixed media work and book arts, which combine uniquely processed images with words or other digital information. Kyoko was born and brought up in Japan where the East and the West live in harmony. She embraces a desire to clearly understand the western world, but at the same time, she needs amorphous white areas in her mind. As white is a traditional and symbolic color in Japan, it suggests nothingness, death, rebirth, innocence or awe. She feels that white connects the real world to her dream and beyond. Kyoko's images are created by selectively painting white over parts of photographs, snapshots of daily life, or images pulled from the Internet. In many cases, she uses semitransparent materials such as Japanese paper, drying oil, or beeswax to create a sense of distance from reality. These creations have been inspired by the scenery of her dreams. Traces of light captured by the camera or our human eyes physically prove the existence of things. On the other hand, these altered images, covered by a misty white color, show how Kyoko recognizes and determines the world.