Matsunaga's works are fused with a multitude of references from ancient magics, animism and anime that all lead to a meditative sense of our universal human condition. Another perspective to seeing Matsunaga's works are that they are rooted in the Japanese background of a post nuclear bombed society and the cultural impact of that in relation to nature and fiction. They draw inspiration from mythology, folklore, popular culture to reflect an increasingly technologised world where a new spirit of mind raises a range of questions to our relationship with nature, the unseen world of the magical and the spiritual.

“Rui Matsunaga’s hypnotic paintings draw you into other times and other worlds. She transports elements of the present into an unknown future, creating gatekeepers who seem to beckon us into their spiritual world – magazine pin-ups adopt the lotus pose and commune with the dead and Mickey Mouse turns to the dark side. Nature is dominant here, and wolves and owls, ivy and cherry blossom frame each character as divining rods, pagan symbols and spheres of energy circle overhead. A delicate grisaille girl punctuates Matsunaga’s work. Perhaps an alter-ego of the artist, her body is an amalgam of futuristic armour, flowers and cobweb tatting, her uplifted eyes looking far into the future. She is entranced, lost in a vision. Her raised hand asks us to pause a moment and join her in the experience. How can we refuse?”
Charlotte Mullins, February 2007

“There is a fusion of contemporary cartoon animation and ancient mythology in Matsuanaga’s paintings. They show us the shapes and attributes of what we might call Modern Gods.”
Morgan Falconer, RA Magazine 2002