Hong Kong

Tomona Matsukawa
Mirror | 鏡

8 June - 15 July 2023


Flowers Gallery is delighted to announce a solo exhibition Mirror by Tomona Matsukawa, her first exhibition in Hong Kong.

The title implies that parents expect their children to mimic their behaviour, like a reflection in the mirror. The exhibition showcases a new series of intertextually-linked photographs and paintings, depicting the changing nature of family relationships, especially the complexities of motherhood and daughterhood, while questioning the meaning of face-to-face meeting in contemporary society.

Matsukawa interviewed a number of women who reunited with their families for the first time after living apart for a while, sparking conversations at cafes, bakeries, offices or homes. The resulting hyper-realistic paintings are often titled with colloquial phrases extracted from the conversations and restructured with beautiful but banal scenes of life. The artist demonstrates the remnants of everyday life and gestures on the glossy surface of canvas, telling a universal story with missing plots, through the combination of titles, paintings and photographs. The painting titled "My mom said that I shouldn't do that because I am a girl" portrays a scene of a woman kissing a mannequin. After a long time of not seeing each other, her mother still holds the traditional view on gender and sexuality, criticising her way of living.

The artworks in the exhibition resemble a collection of short stories, each piece containing a different narrative about reuniting with family after a long time apart. While communication through messaging and social media is possible, it is significantly different from meeting in person. Matsukawa reveals the paradoxical nature of family relationships as time goes by. "I'm not sure if I'm jealous or just feeling lonely, but still" discusses the ambiguity of being a mother and a woman. The interviewed woman is bewildered by her mother enjoying the life without her. The scene is at her mother's home where they were drinking and talking. The table runner that separates the wine glasses symbolizes the estrangement between them, yearning for closer distance, yet far away from each other. Matsukawa says: "My work is to transform what was a story of an individual into a story of society as a whole, and to reveal the image of us living in this era."

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