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Outsider Art in JAPAN - Writing

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Outsider Art in JAPAN - Writing


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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.

Moriya Kishaba, Yoshimitsu TomizukaTakanori Herai

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

Moriya Kishaba
Born in 1979. Lives in Naha City, Okinawa Prefecture.
Chinese characters completely fill 30 cm by 40 cm pieces of paper, creating mandalas of Chinese characters, exceeding perhaps ten thousand characters. Moriya Kishaba draws each Chinese character as a diagram, and not for their meaning. The resulting works utterly confound the reasoning of those who demand meaning from the written and the drawn.

Yoshimitsu Tomizuka
Born in 1958. Lives in Nishinomiya City, Hyogo Prefecture.Serious and conscientious Yoshimitsu Tomizuka thinks up invented stories that are in fact inconceivable in the real world, and delightfully turns them into one-page visual tales. It seems like this lowbrow storyteller lives his alternative life's drama within the picture tales.

Takanori Herai
Born in 1980. Lives in Hanamaki City, Iwate Prefecture. Geometric patterns are drawn on the fronts and backs of B5-sized paper. It's the diary he writes everyday. Apparently, what he writes is the same every day, except for the dates and the temperature. This mysterious diary makes the readers feel like they are deciphering a code, or embarking on solving a difficult puzzle.

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