Outside the Lines

It's not easy to upstage fuyuko matsui. With her elfin ears and deep violet eyes, the 33-year-old artist has the looks to carry magazine covers—which she has done for Japanese glossies, wearing the sort of tight dresses you probably wouldn't have found in Frida Kahlo's wardrobe. Yet sitting in the Gallery Naruyama in central Tokyo, one's eye nevertheless strays from Matsui to her 2004 painting Keeping Up the Pureness, in which a ghostly pale woman, black hair pooling beneath her head, lies in a misty field of lilies, poppies and moss. Painstakingly drawn on gold silk, Pureness...

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