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Outsider Art in JAPAN - Déformer

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Outsider Art in JAPAN - Déformer


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'Souzou' is a word that has no direct translation in English but a dual meaning in Japanese. It can be written two ways, meaning either 'creation' or 'imagination'.

Outsider Art has its origins in the French word art brut, which described art made by those outside the art scene particularly that created in 19th Century European Psychiatric Hospitals. In The 1940s, surrealists like Dubuffet and Max Ernst became interested in this art, and Outsider Art came to be more broadly interpreted as outside a didactic tradition and outside the boundaries of official culture. It was often unsettling and indecipherable, yet undeniably arresting. While it did not follow the artistic fashion of its time, Outsider Art nevertheless responds to the times in unexpected ways. For this reason Outsider Art has a growing following in world art circles.

Outsider Art has also had an influence on the introduction and development of art therapy programs around the world. In Japan’s art therapy programs, materials are typically made available to the participants without any instruction on what they should make or how they should make it. The results are astonishing and diverse. The work of Japanese outsider artists has now been featured in galleries in London, Lausanne and the Venice Biennale.

Outsider Art in Japan” is a series of films that demonstrates the circumstances of some of these outsider artists, and how their art is created. With immense concentration, with zen like calm, methodically, obsessively, they create mysterious objects and fantastic drawings. The creation is ritual, reality into fantasy, fantasy into reality, revealing a logic that is perplexing yet strangely familiar.

Feautured in Volume 7: Shinichi Adachi, Kenshi Ito, Kazuhiko Takahashi, Hideaki Yoshikawa

This title is part of a collection featuring 10 Volumes, 30 artists. The volumes are also available as a set: Outsider Art in Japan Volumes 1-10

Shinichi Adachi
Born in 1958. Lives in Yonago City, Tottori Prefecture.His paintings could be of the bottom of the ocean or the vast universe. It's hard to interpret. Flowers and creatures float as if there's no such thing as gravity on his canvass. He mass-produces this mysterious world from his everyday life. Approx: 14 mins.

Kenshi Ito
Born in 1969. Lives in Tokyo.He paints daring nudes in a very serious and detached manner, as if this were his job, all the while apologizing for his work: "I'm sorry for the buttocks... Sorry again for painting boobs."

Kazuhiko Takahashi
Born in 1941. Lives in Morioka City, Iwate Prefecture. People and buildings, they are uniform in size. There is no perspective in his drawings, showing the sincerity of his character. His art captures the hearts of those who see it.

Hideaki Yoshikawa
Born in 1970. Lives in Koga City, Shiga Prefecture. He says, "Eye, eye, nose, mouth" as he pokes lines of holes into clay with a wooden stick. He repeats this mundane task over and over again showing no signs of boredom. However, the moment he declares "the end" a fascinating yet mysterious object appears.

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