Outside In is pleased to announce the opening of an exhibition of intricate ink drawings by Japanese artist Shinya Fujii at the Julian Hartnoll Gallery, London. The show, which runs from 4 – 13 September, will provide a unique opportunity to see Fujii’s work for the first time outside of Japan.
Born in 1969, Fujii became interested in art following a magazine article, after which he won a prize for his entry into a comic book design competition whilst a high school student. At school Fujii was frequently bullied, leaving him introverted. After leaving school he 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. Whilst making his work, Fujii listens to folk music, saying: “My artworks let me create images like a wave of music lines.” The patterns he creates weave together to make robots, insects, plants and Balinese seashells.
For a long time, Fujji wanted to visit Bali, and this is reflected in frequently used motifs originating from the southern region of Bali seen in 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 his home in Hokkaido, Northern Japan, 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.
Curator of the show, Vivienne Roberts, says: “We are honoured that this will be the first time that the recently discovered Fujii has exhibited outside of Japan. His artworks show simple, fluid lines creating figures and kaleidoscopic abstract forms which merge into intricate and elegant images. These drawings will leave an imprint that will remain in the mind long after seeing the exhibition.”
Shinya Fujii: Outsider art from Japan
4 – 13 September 2015
Julian Hartnoll Gallery
37 Duke Street
Opening times: Monday – Friday, 10am – 2.30pm, Saturday 11am – 5pm. Admission free. Opening event: Thursday 3 September, 5 – 8pm.