Masako Miki Introduces Felt-Covered Sculpture Collection at BAMPFA

Kuchisake-onna (Mouth Tear Woman) in wool, foam, and cherrywood. Photography courtesy of Masako Miki and CULT Aimee Friberg Exhibitions.

Since launching in 1978 at the University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, the Matrix series of contemporary art exhibitions has introduced early works by such artists as Jean-Michel Basquiat, Louise Bourgeois, and Eva Hesse to the Bay Area and furthered their household-name status. The same is happening with Masako Miki, whose “Masako Miki/MATRIX 273” is at BAMPFA now through April 28. The large-scale felt-covered sculptures grew out of a 2014 artist in residency Miki did in Kamiyama, a small agricultural town marked by myriad cedar trees and the Oawa shrine, associated with centuries-old Japanese folklore. “Even though I’m a Japan native, I was exposed to something new and unfamiliar and able to reconnect with my traditions and cultures,” she says. The resulting work references the folkloric Yokai, aka shapeshifters, in Shinto animism and emphasizes the idea of dissolving boundaries into transitional, nonbinary space. More of her sculptures are on display in a concurrent show at CULT Aimee Friberg Exhibitions in San Francisco.

Masako Miki’s 2018 Mori no Yokai (Shapeshifters of Forest). Photography by Maria Baranova/courtesy of Masako Miki and CULT Aimee Friberg Exhibitions.

Hitotsume-kozo (One-Eyed Goblin) in wool, foam, and walnut. Photography courtesy of Masako Miki and CULT Aimee Friberg Exhibitions.

Abumi-guchi (Stirrup Mouth Furry Ghost) in wool, foam, and walnut. Photography courtesy of Masako Miki and CULT Aimee Friberg Exhibitions.

ONLINE EXCLUSIVE. Karakasa-obake (Umbrella Ghost) in wool on foam, walnut and wenge wood. Photography courtesy of Masako Miki and CULT Aimee Friberg Exhibitions.

ONLINE EXCLUSIVE. Masako Miki's “Masako Miki/MATRIX 273” is at BAMPFA now through April 28. Photography by Maria Baranova/courtesy of Masako Miki and CULT Aimee Friberg Exhibitions.

ONLINE EXCLUSIVE. Mori no Yokai (Shapeshifters of Forest) by Masako Miki. Photography by Maria Baranova/courtesy of Masako Miki and CULT Aimee Friberg Exhibitions.

ONLINE EXCLUSIVE. Listening to Sun, Moon and Earth (after Alexander Calder’s Gibraltar) by Masako Miki. Photography courtesy of Masako Miki and CULT Aimee Friberg Exhibitions.

> See more from the January 2019 issue of Interior Design

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