Shinya Fujii: Outsider art from Japan

at Julian Hartnoll Gallery

The Julian Hartnoll Gallery and Outside In are delighted to announce the opening of an exhibition of intricate ink works by Japanese artist Shinya Fujii at the Julian Hartnoll Gallery in London. The first time this work has been seen outside of Japan, 'Shinya Fujii: Outsider art from Japan' will run from 4 – 13 September.

Born in 1969, Fujii became interested in design following a  magazine article, after which he won a prize for his entry into a comic book design competition whilst a high school art student. After leaving school, Fujii worked for many years at an automotive assembly plant, and as a security guard in Tokyo and other cities in an effort to save enough money to study abroad; a lifelong dream of his.

Diagnosed with schizophrenia in later life, Fujii started making his drawings following the death of his father in 2007. His works are constructed on Kraft paper with fine line ink from a narrow nibbed pen and, conveniently, all of the art supplies he uses are available in his small town in Hokkaido.

Whilst making his work, Fujii listens to folk music, saying: “My art works let me create images like a wave of music lines.” The patterns he creates weave together to make robots, insects, plants and sea shells from Bali.

For a long time, Fujii wanted to visit Bali, and this is reflected in frequently used motifs originating from the southern region of Bali, as well as the guidebooks that adorn his desk. Perhaps Fujii’s fascination with the clement climate of Bali comes from his own experience of the harsh winters of Hokkaido, where the temperature regularly drops below minus twenty degrees Celsius.

Alongside his fondness for Bali, Fujii has a keen interest in Buddhism, saying that he has adopted “a view of the world that Buddhism preaches about Buddha” in his works.

Depending on his health, Fujii draws for between five minutes and one hour a day, taking between one and three months to complete a piece.

Exhibition information

Shinya Fujii: Outsider art from Japan
4 – 13 September 2015

Julian Hartnoll Gallery
37 Duke Street
St James’s
London, SW1Y 6DF

Opening times: Monday – Friday, 10am – 2:30pm, Saturday 11am – 5pm. Admission free.
Opening event: Thursday 3 September, 5 – 8pm.