The central character in the majority of Erina Matsui’s work is the artist herself, often depicted in a dreamy context, accompanied by fantastical creatures. Ranging from little animals to strange creatures, her fictional characters assists her in revealing her inner thoughts and feelings. Matsui’s vivid self-portraits give viewers a glimpse into her imagination, allowing them to experience the emotions the artist felt while painting, almost as if they were reliving a dream or memory.
Matsui won the Gold Prize at GEISAI#6 in 2004, and her prize-winning work I love shrimp chill was acquired by the Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain and made her international debut in a group exhibition at the same foundation. She studied in Finland at the University of Art & Design Helsinki in 2006 before graduating in 2008 with a B.F.A. from Tama Art University in Tokyo. Two years later, she also earned a master’s degree at Tokyo Art University (Tokyo Geidai). In 2012, she spent one year in Berlin at the internationally famous artist residency Kunstlerhaus Bethanien.
Recent major exhibitions include Playing with Materials: Works from the New Collection in 2021 (Takamatsu City Museum of Art, Takamatsu, Japan, 2023), Gaka no Otaku (Kumagai Morikazu Museum of Art, Toshima, 2022), Reiwa Otogi-Zoshi Momotaro KAMISHI by Erina Matsui (Okayama Prefectural Museum of Art, 2020), Planet of Faces (Kirishima Art Forest, Kagoshima, 2016), and Takahashi Collection Mindfulness! (The Museum of Art, Kochi). Erina Matsui was born in Okayama and is currently based in Tokyo.