Shrink Me: Assemblage by Hirona Matsuda

During any given week I see 300-3000 pieces of art.

Art fills my life and I love it. 

That being said, I can count on one hand the number of times a week I see something that makes me stop, stare, and say "holy s**t". That's not always the reaction that clients are looking for when we're searching for a mantle piece or dining room painting, but this is the reaction I love to have when seeing something created by a Charleston artist.

Drumroll please........

I sat down with Mitchell Hill gallery director, Ashley Miller, to pick her brain a bit about this recent show:

Canvas:   Hi Ash! Wow, Hirona really brought it this time. What has been the reaction by collectors and passerby since the opening? 

AM:    Well the opening actually got a little scary at some points... Like there were SO many people in here. [Mitchell Hill gallery]. It's been really well received - and lots of sales, which is one sign of a success. People always love Hirona's work but many of her long time collectors agreed that this is her most cohesive body of work yet. I agree. People also pointed out that it's relevant to the way our city is changing too. We see lots of scaffolding, cranes, growth. 

Canvas:    So what's the story behind CLIMB? The ladders are an obvious nod to climbing, but was there specific inspiration?  

AM:    Hirona traveled parts of Europe this year and one of the stops along her trip was a Swedish paper factory. They let her take old blue prints and papers that ended up in a lot of these pieces. She's a collector of random things and those random things usually end up in her studio and in her work eventually. Minimalism played a huge role in the creation of this show. How could you leave IKEA-land and be inspired to make something look cluttered? Nope. Set design seemed to be a constant theme too. The ladders take your eye from one level or set to another.  


Canvas:    Which is your favorite piece? 

AM:    I would have to say Water Tower. It's framed in a way that is a reminder that we're looking at a Hirona Matsuda, but the narrative is set on this gorgeous wood grain. I also think Set Design 1 is great. It's shadows and intricate details make me want to keep looking, but it's perfectly minimal. 

Canvas:    I see that some of the works are interactive. Tell me about that. 

AM:    Yeah, many of them have magnetically anchored strings and there is even an elevator. Hirona loves the mechanics behind her creations. People will see music boxes, snow globes, mobile parts. It's all very thoughtful. 

 Water Tower by Hirona Matsuda

Water Tower by Hirona Matsuda

Canvas:    Awesome. What should we be expecting next from Mitchell Hill? 

AM:    Our annual small works show is coming up on December 9. Popcorn Garland, as it's called, will feature our roster artists as well as a few special guests. Should be fun! 


For more images of CLIMB visit the Mitchell Hill site: