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Interview: Artist Matsushita Yuna Gives SHOWstudio A Calligraphic Makeover

published on 29 January 2024

Off the back of redesigning SHOWstudio's logo, Japanese calligrapher Matsushita Yuna spoke with our art and culture editor about the importance, history and energy the art of calligraphy embodies.

Off the back of redesigning SHOWstudio's logo, Japanese calligrapher Matsushita Yuna spoke with our art and culture editor about the importance, history and energy the art of calligraphy embodies.

Since we offered up the SHOWstudio logo for interpretation, we've received countless plays on Peter Saville's original design. Although many of our contributors have explored the waters of a moving logo, combining innovative technology with art to set their vision forth, others have been more minimalistic in their approach; no doubt the latest artist redesigning our signature sits in the latter camp.

Japanese calligrapher Matsushita Yuna never intended to embark on a career dedicated to the poetry of calligraphy, alas, with an Instagram page that's amassed a following count of over 70k, the romance she breathes into her work isn't lost on anyone. Inspired by the imitable beauty of her designs, we tasked her with designing the next rendition of SHOWstudio's logo. The brief? To be as visually captivating as possible. With that, Yuna got set to work, producing a series of extraordinarily elegant designs unique in their grace and finesse. inverts the plain white background into a moving 3D landscape. We spoke to Yuna to find out more about her artistic principles and the woman behind SHOWstudio's latest moving logo.

SHOWstudio: How would you describe what you do and your aesthetic?

Matsushita Yuna: Japan has known calligraphy for more than 1,500 years. It has since evolved into our history, daily culture, and a distinguished art form in Japan. 

The words we write have their original meanings, but the unique brush strokes give them extra nuances of subtlety, delicate or expressive feelings, and sensory imagination. The simple art of ink and brush introduces us to the purity and beauty of the monochrome world that emerges from our daily lives and emotions and the way of nature.

SHOWstudio: What is it about calligraphy you find inspiring? 

MY: I aim to wirte calligraphy that "blends in" (with nature). My work is inspired by the truth felt with my heart and thoughts, the dialogues I have with others, and the encounter with natural scenery, sounds, and light.

SHOWstudio: Why did you decide to dedicate your practice to calligraphy, and when did your interest begin?

MY: I started calligraphy at the age of 8. It is not rare for Japanese children to learn calligraphy at an early age, but not many continue to engage with it. I continued to this day simply because I have always loved to write and express myself. My love for calligraphy never ceased.

SHOWstudio: How would you describe the work you have created for us in three words?

MY: Interconnected, flexible, and delicate.

SHOWstudio: What was your creative process like, from concept to creation, in response to Nick Knight's brief to redesign and reinterpret the SHOWstudio logo?

MY: When I was invited to join the project, I was both delighted and confused at the same time because all the other artists are using advanced and complex graphic techniques, such as 3D art.

In contrast, all I do is extremely simple and analog, which is to write characters and letters on paper using just ink and a brush.

But, I felt that they knew what I do and still gave me this opportunity so I worked on this piece over and over again to express a sense of change in a simple way.

Interviewee:

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