Erina Matsui’s artistic practice is based on self-portraits, a genre that she sounds out in a very characteristic way before the background of the kawaii aesthetics so omnipresent in her home country Japan. Matsui’s paintings open up to the viewer through many surprising details and create imaginative worlds, in which cosmic myriads of stars, creatures of fable, cuddly toy mice or deep sea monsters cavort alongside different but always subjectively interpreted portraits of the artist.
The exhibition Road Sweet Road in Künstlerhaus Bethanien is assembled by starting out from a large-format oil painting, in which the artist has portrayed her face this time in the shape of a pathway between trees. This is transformed directly into the three-dimensional, inasmuch as it is continued on the floor in front of the painting. Thus, it forms a platform, on which Matsui has placed her signature toys as well as the flesh-coloured salamander Axolotl (a kind of alter ego and mascot for the artist). Visitors are invited to follow the path along the stepping stones provided, pursuing their own memories and experiences and to discover more of Matsui’s recent work.