“Everyone has to find something in life to follow: if we find something really deep, we should be able to pass it on to others. Even the longest path begins with a step. Like nature, that is born,  then grows, blooms and produces other seeds and looks always the same, while continuing to evolve and improve. This is the only way to leave a mark for future generations. ”
Shuhei Matsuyama is a rich man. Rich in wisdom of the East that sometimes stunned us in the West, little heads in a complicated world, that want to see “naturally” simple. Matsuyama is a rich man because his life is made of small things. He learns and he teaches, Japanese by birth and Italian in Milan by choice.
“I arrived in Italy five years ago, driven by the love for art. This country has been at the center of the world when the Mediterranean was the cradle of culture. In Japan I saw several exhibitions dedicated to Italian art, I read a lot about Leonardo, Raphael … Here in Italy I learned so many things, which have enriched my spirit, but it’s in Japan where I gained my experience and stimulus that allowed me to express myself with joy in my life, which is nothing if not art. ”

What does it mean for you to practice karate while being a painter at the same time?
“All my life flows between art and karate. Karate builds my constancy. It gives me the strength to face life. Every movement of karate is an expression of energy. And painting is extension of the internal energy, the Ki, that allows me to communicate with others. ”

You are a master of karate but not a coach. What’s the difference?
“Karate for me does not mean to win against another person. Karate is discipline. This technique is not to attack but to defend. During training do not ever touch the opponent, because you know that certain moves can be deadly. Karate, therefore, is self-control, is the art of discovering yourself, your limitations or dark side of your character. So, the coach creates an athlete, the master performs a continual research within his himself. To tell you the truth, I was also baseball coach in Japan, there it’s the most popular sport. After the Second World War, my country has been turned upside down, Americanized. We have been westernized although we are from the East. ”

Is art a gift that we all have?
“Of course. Except that it comes through the different streets. Think of the top of a mountain: when you climb you cannot see anything else but your own way, but when you’re at the top you have the complete picture. The roads are different, but the common point of arrival is the art. My path is karate and painting: I need both of them to reach the top. Each of us must be able find his ‘art’. There are those who succeeds with the music, who with the pen, who with the brush … “.

What does expresses your art?
“The colors of positivity, peace and quiet. My teacher is Monet. Light, shade and air: it’s poetry. ”
He often participated in the Venice Biennale …
“I started in ’93, than I continued in ’95, ’97 and 2001. Now I get ready for 2003. In the meantime, I’m ready for other exhibitions: one is already open in Santa Margherita Ligure. From May 7th I will be in Milan, at the Fondazione Museo Luciana Matalon. In June, I’ll go back to Japan, in Kobe, then in Tokyo and in November I will be in Udine. “

Master, a dream?
“With my paintings I want to create a circle the size of the Earth. Many dots that ultimately embrace and become a line.”

by Donatella Tretjak