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Outsider Art in JAPAN - Human Figures

Volume 1

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Outsider Art in JAPAN - Human Figures


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DVD Price $195
Streaming Price (1 year) $195
Streaming Price (1 year) + DVD $293
Streaming Price (3 years) $468
Streaming Price (3 years) + DVD $566

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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.

Volume 1: Masao Obota, Yoko Kubota, Kento Tamai

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

Masao Obota
Born in 1943. Lives in Kobe City, Hyogo Prefecture. Out of the blue, at the age of fifty Masao Obata began drawing on some cardboard that he picked up. His motifs are mostly unconnected with his actual life, like families, and bride and groom couples at weddings. He continues to draw this alternative theater of life on cardboard, at a pace of one piece each night. Even now, every night.

Yoko Kubota

Born in 1977. Lives in Konan City, Shiga Prefecture. Yoko Kubota finds attractive female models in mail-order catalogs for women's clothing, and draws pictures of them. They turn into pictures of grotesque faces. Commonplace conceptions of beauty fall to pieces when confronted with these girls she draws with grotesque faces

Kento Tamai
Born in 1988. Lives in Nago City, Okinawa Prefecture.Why did he first get started with kitchen aluminum foil? Maybe he was looking for playmates. He's been making aluminum foil figurines since he was a first grader in elementary school. For some reason the figurines he makes only have one arm. These mysterious forms are wonderfully larger than life.

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