My mainly work is the found-object that embodies the aesthetic sense of traditional Japanese cultures, particularly Wabi-Sabi, based on the concept of ​​"the usefulness of the uselessness" of ancient China made by Chuang Tzu.

“Everyone knows the value of what is obviously useful, but Everyone do not know that what seems useless is truly useful in life.”

By focusing on the things are no longer needed for society, and treating them as the leading role instead of using them as just materials for creation, I aim to discover the possibilities from the things that are useless for society and to ask their value to the world.

My art centers around identifying and exposing the potential of objects. “ A Study on Natural Artifacts” presents the found pieces as “natural artifacts” because their original function is obscured by nature.  The passing of time, decomposition, and other natural forces change the artifacts in a way that hides its original use.  

The intention of my work is to directly encourage the audience to question the value and meaning of useless things by presenting the mystery contained in the objects I have found.

Therefore, when I create my work, I'm trying to eliminate so-called artistic elements, such as my own ego and imagination, as much as possible.

For my works, it is most ideal that the objects look like they have not been touched or manipulated by me.

One guiding idea that has influenced my work is the “usefulness of uselessness”.  This concept asks people to be creative in imagining potential uses for objects.  This philosophy, along with Wabi-sabi,  has had a great influence on Japanese culture.  Accepting the impermanence of objects and their utility, helps people discover the beauty in imperfection.

Our social and economic fears and desires shape our understanding of the “value” of objects.  Value is not necessarily something intrinsic predetermined by nature.

This aims to build upon the work of Japanese contemporary artists that have taken an ethnographic approach.  This has grown from ”Modernology” , proposed by early folklorist Wajiro Kon, or “Street Observations”, by more modern conceptual artist Genpei Akasegawa into what we are seeing now.  In the modern, commercialized era that we are living in today, my attempts to add new value to things that have been abandoned or overlooked, extend this school of thought into the modern era.



Takayuki Matsuo (b. 1980, New York, United States) is a contemporary artist based in New York. 

He takes his inspiration from collecting found objects mainly from the street. His practice is shaped by the concept of “the usefullness of the uselessness” borrowed from ancient Chinese philosophy. Matsuo thinks of the value of things through "natural artifacts" that are being naturalized by losing their original function due to aging and external factors. His goal is to maximize their potential and eliminate ego and subjective action in the creative process as much as possible. His artistic approach is influenced by various sources including Wajiro Kon (” Modernology” ) through to Genpei Akasegawa ("Street Observation") and Japanese contemporary art.


2003 Studied, Waseda University Art and Architecture School, Tokyo

2000 Graduated, Musashino Cooking College, Tokyo
He is a self-taught conceptual artist.
He belongs to Art Beasties that is Artist collective group.


2019 Selected group exhibition, Modest Expressionism #1 Water / Wood / Cloth, New York

2019 Solo exhibition, Project Ephemeral #4 preservation, Residency Unlimited, New York

2019 Solo exhibition, Project Ephemeral #3 restoration, Residency Unlimited, New York

2019 Solo exhibition, Project Ephemeral #2 cleaning, Residency Unlimited, New York

2019 Solo exhibition, Project Ephemeral #1 investigation, Residency Unlimited, New York 

​2018 Selected group exhibition,"Time Difference", Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum, Tokyo 2017 "Gowanus open studio 2017", Bushwick, New York

2016 "Bushwick open studio 2016", Bushwick, New York
2016 Selected group exhibition,"Monster Exhibition 2016", Shibuya Hikarie, Tokyo
2016 Selected group exhibition, "Time Difference", Hyōgo Prefectural Museum of Art, Hyōgo 2015 Solo exhibition, "Greed", Makari, New York
2015 "Bushwick open studio 2015", Bushwick, New York
2014 Selected group exhibition, "DAMBO Art Festival 2014", DAMBO, New York



2019 Residency Unlimited, New York


2018 "How to live in NY as artist", "Monster Exhibition 2O18", Shibuya Hikarie, Tokyo


2018 "Time Difference vol.3" (catalog) Art Beasties, {Photographs, Interview, C.V}

2016 "Time Difference vol.2" (catalog) Art Beasties, {Photographs, Interview, C.V}


© 2017 takayuki matsuo