2background Shinya Fujii, Untitled (spaceship), Ink on paper, 21x30cm, 16 april 2016.jpg

Shinya Fujii

Shinya Fujii

Born in 1969, Fujii became interested in art whilst a high school student following reading a magazine article, after which he won a prize for his entry into a comic book design competition. At school Fujii was frequently bullied and this left 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.

Full Biography

Born in 1969, Fujii became interested in art whilst a high school student following reading a magazine article, after which he won a prize for his entry into a comic book design competition. At school Fujii was frequently bullied and this left 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 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; with the patterns he creates weaving together to make robots, insects, plants and Balinese seashells. For a long time Fujii 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.

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 of work. In 2015 he had his first successful exhibition outside Japan in London, with several pieces selling to private collectors.

Exhibition Highlights

2019 2nd Triennial of Self-Taught Visionary Art, Belgrade
2019 Drawing Now Paris Art Fair, Carreau du Temple
2018 Outsider Art Fair New York, Metropolitan Pavilion
2015 Shinya Fujii: Outsider Art from Japan, Julian Hartnoll Gallery, London
2009 Outsider Art of Hokkaido, Hokkaido Asahikawa Museum of Art, Japan