Keita Matsunaga : Accumulation Flow

January 20 - March 9, 2024

Nonaka-Hill is pleased to present, Accumulation Flow, Keita Matsunaga’s second solo exhibition in Los Angeles.  The exhibition opens January 20th and will be on view through March 9, 2024. An opening reception will be held for the artist on Saturday, January 20, from 5-8 pm.


Keita Matsunaga has long been fascinated by renewal, remixing, and reuse which traces to his training in architecture. His ceramics, like human-made structures, are made from his analyzation of its region’s raw materials. Both must be rooted in and sit atop a ground that is physically and symbolically understood. This gives Matsunaga a heightened sensitivity to his materials, his methods of layering predict the extent to which the ceramic’s distortion and cracking will guide his plans. The work depends on accumulations, dense strata that reaches into the past and decides the future on which his objects emerge and rest. 


Matsunaga realizes his new series of ceramics both by hand and from a unique casting process; the casts are hollowed out by Matsunaga’s hand and kiln fired, altering and vitrifying them into their final forms. All his objects, regardless of their incarnations, are the direct results of sedimentation: its raw materials are excavated through layers of sediment in his local region and its geological behaviors are organically reconstructed in the studio. By pouring layers of liquified clay into his molds, he allows pebbles and sand to settle as water runs through capillaries in the drying matrix, leading to cracks, fissures, and striations. The latter of which is analogous to tree rings, pond ripples, or the wrinkling of human skin, compounding a century, a moment, or lifetime into one object. 


Coated in urushi, a natural tree lacquer, Matsunaga’s earthen-colored works (many of which are titled Monuke, translating to “empty shell”) make overt references to the textures and traces of natural processes. Other works layered with multi-colored lacquers offer an alternate surface, like that of seashells and tea bowls, some of whose rims approximate the upsurge of boiling water in a tea kettle (they are titled MyakuMyaku, which translates to “pulse-pulse”). And there are works entitled Miki, (loosely translated as “trunk,”) one of which resembles a slice of a weathered tree with a void in the middle; other traditional swollen vessels are conflated with “tree-ness” by virtue of their title. But it is ironically the Puddle works that most resemble slices of trees, thus conflating its rings of time with ripples in water. Matsunaga also punctuates his exhibition with objects with no obvious referent but implying the organic or explicitly human- made or both—a book, cocoon, or fruit slice. Suffusing his works with the effects of natural phenomena, Matsunaga’s working methods can be perceived as meditative, instinctive, emotional, yet radically conceptual in practice. 


Born in Tajimi, Japan (an area well known for ceramics), in 1986, Keita Matsuaga currently lives and works in both Tajimi and Kani in Gifu prefecture.  The son of ceramists, his artistic training includes studying architecture at Meijo University, (2010), completing the Tajimi City Ceramics Design Laboratory (2013), and graduation from the Kanazawa Utsatsuyama Crafts Workshop (2016). Matsunaga has shown extensively across Japan in both a gallery setting and museums and has won several awards including the Takaoka Contemporary Craft Competition (2013).  His work was most recently included in Contemporary Pottery: inside⇄ outside, at the Aichi Prefectural Ceramic Museum, Seto, Japan (2022) and Rakusui-tei Art Museum, Toyama, Japan (2022). 



Keita Matsunaga

Accumulation Flow

Opening Reception: Saturday, January 20, 5-8 pm

We open to the public at 12 noon

720 N Highland Avenue Los Angeles CA 90038



Installation Views