JR Shinjuku Station’s East Exit Plaza is Revamped with Massive Public Art Installation

LUMINE Co., Ltd. has jointly worked with East Japan Railway Company to beautify the public plaza outside the east exit of JR Shinjuku Station, which was unveiled on Sunday, July 19. The new plaza features a public art installation by Tomokazu Matsuyama, who has gained global recognition as an up-and-coming contemporary artist.

LUMINE initiated the beautification of JR Shinjuku station’s east exit plaza, as the company believes it is their mission to coexist with the local community and bring liveliness to the area. Rather than simply beautifying, LUMINE hoped to contribute to the development of Shinjuku city by creating a story, and planned the entire plaza as a piece of art.

In the center stands a large 7 meter abstract sculpture of “a boy with a bouquet”, which combines the warm sentiment of welcoming visitors, with flowers that represent nature. The artificialness of the stainless steel used for the sculpture, represents the city. Resembling colorful land art, the graphics painted on the ground were created with a deep understanding of Japanese artistry, as well as appreciation for Japan’s nature, four seasons and culture since ancient times, in the form of contemporary art. By blending the flowers of various countries and design patterns of different times, the installation offers pedestrians a cultural and timeless experience.

“This public art installation was designed from two perspectives; micro and macro. From a micro perspective, this was an unutilized area, but still a place that seemed to capture the essence of Tokyo. Using ‘metro', ‘wild’, and ‘bewilder’ as keywords, the coined term “Metro-Bewilder” was created to express ‘nature and art in a city that greets visitors with surprise and bewilderment’. From a macro standpoint, Shinjuku is one of the world’s busiest areas where people from all around the globe come to shop and discover culture, food and drinks. At the same time, the local culture is still firmly rooted. While rare even in other areas of Tokyo, this coexistence of global and local people is what characterizes Shinjuku, drives the unique hustle and bustle of the city, and is what inspired the concept of ‘local and global = glocal’.”

Tomokazu Matsuyama was born in the Gifu Prefecture of Japan in 1976, and currently resides in New York. After graduating from Pratt Institute as a top student, Matsuyama has focused his work on painting, as well as sculptures and installations. His artwork has been exhibited in numerous galleries, museums and university facilities around the world, as solo shows and exhibitions. Matsuyama’s works are also in the permanent collections of LACMA and Microsoft Collection.

Official Website: http://matzu.net/