Lighter than air

Marset Featuring

Lighter than air

Masayoshi Matsumoto for Bicoca

Masayoshi Matsumoto is a part-time engineer and part-time artist, who has been taking this unique discipline of balloon artistry to the next level. He creates intricate, hyper-realistic designs from every corner of the animal kingdom. Fascinated by nature and the beauty of impermanence, he shares with us his take on the Bicoca.

Masayoshi, how would you define your style?
MMI define my creative style as "realistic balloon art". I enjoy the challenge of trying to make something that looks as close to the real thing as possible. I have always had a fascination with animals and their diversity, and that definitely played a role in my decision to focus on animal-themed designs for my balloon art.
From engineering to artistry, what inspired you to become a balloon artist, and when did you first realise your passion?
MMI was introduced to balloon art by a senior in university 15 years ago. It took me 6 years to gradually develop a passion for it. My art is inspired by nature, animals, and the joy that balloons bring to people.
Could you share with us what can we find you doing when you are not creating balloon creatures?
MMDuring the day I work as a chemical engineer, and balloon art is my side job.
Masayoshi, what challenges have you faced as a balloon artist, and how have you dealt with them?
MMCreating realistic animals with balloons was a challenge because there weren't many precedents.  Balloons are definitely fragile, which can make the creative process challenging at times, but I also think this adds to the excitement and unpredictability of working with them. 
Going from animals to items, what was your inspiration for this proposal of Bicoca?
MMI looked at photos of the Bicoca and thought about how to make it. On average, it takes me about two days to create one piece.

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What does Bicoca express for you? How have you translated it into the scenario you propose?
MMWhile my art is temporary and can only last for a limited time, I enjoy the fact that it encourages people to appreciate the beauty of impermanence and to enjoy the moment while it lasts. I thought the Bicoca had a very sophisticated shape, so I tried to reproduce it as accurately as possible.
What feature do you find important to highlight about this lamp?
MMI felt that the angle and form of the shade of Bicoca was particularly important, it adds a lot of personality to the lamp.
Working with light is essential for any artist. What role has light played in your collaboration with Marset?
MMI experimented with taking strong light from a diagonal front angle to make the outline of the artwork stand out and bring out the vividness.
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