Bio: A native of Japan, Michiko Fujii Fowler has lived and painted in San Francisco, California since 2008. Her work is featured in the permanent collection of the Saku Museum of Modern Art and has appeared in a variety of exhibitions. She lived as an artist-in-residence at the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris in 2007 and received the Sokei Award and the Takazawa Award from the Sokei Academy of Fine Art & Design in Tokyo.
I believe that a painting has two-layered spaces; one is fictional space that is depicted in the painting, and another is a real space that is the painting itself. Generally, when we look at a painting, we focus on the fictional space. However, what we are really looking at is an object called "a painting" and material called "paint." I ponder the reasons why a painting can entice our hearts while equally examining these two layers: fiction and reality (namely, a painting and material).
When one oil painting is being created, paint starts forming layers and rising above the canvas, and increases its volume towards the real world. As it happens, the object of the painting always stays within the canvas, yet it enhances the fictional nature of the space. From the canvas as the "ground zero," fiction and reality grow to compete for the space, and its narrow equilibrium becomes illusion.
When looking at the physical aspect of the painting, one can say that illusion of any kind of painting is achieved by putting some material on a flat surface, such as a piece of paper or a canvas. Although it may seem obvious, I am strongly drawn to the idea that matter will go beyond its volume and make "a new space." My work focuses on painting itself as well as experimental thinking about the sensations and wonder evoked by seeing an object.
In my series called Matter Makes Space from 2009 and 2010, I have been painting a world with a new perspective. I delineate illusion of distances; even though matter appears to exist in the far distance, it exists right on the ground-zero canvas. With a distinctive roughness of material, I demonstrate this. Some of my works are painted on a piece of wood. Its grain and quality have been blended into illusion, which makes material an important part of the space depicted.