Asana Fujikawa loves telling tales. From erotically-charged ceramics to fantastical etchings, the Hamburg-based artist’s work is infused with fairytale logic, each bit elaborating on a mythology she spins throughout time and media.
After exhibiting her first solo present at Klaus Gerrit Friese Gallery in Berlin late final yr, Fujikawa is taking time to find a brand new rhythm for her observe. I caught up along with her to debate folklore, Henri Matisse and clay communions.
What impressed you to pursue an inventive profession?
While I used to be making artwork I met many individuals who impressed me. I wished to proceed to work with them, which led me to pursue an inventive profession.
Your œuvre encompasses a broad vary of media, from etchings and work to sculpture and efficiency artwork. Are you able to inform us about your evolution by way of these completely different practices? How do you resolve which materials is the most effective mode of expression to your concepts?
First I attempted to be a very good painter. I liked the works of Henri Matisse and I wished to color like him, however it was very troublesome. I felt that the paint and I couldn’t perceive one another. After a number of years, I experimented with etching, and I not wanted the fabric to inform me what I wished to say. It was a joyful second. I had an analogous expertise with ceramics. I really feel as if I can discuss with clay, particularly at evening in my studio.
This yr you hosted your ?rst solo exhibition, Einmal ?elen weiße Tropfen aus deiner Brustwarze auf meinen Stöckelschuh, weißt du noch? (As soon as white drops fell out of your nipple onto my excessive heel, do you continue to bear in mind?) at Galerie Klaus Gerrit Friese. Are you able to inform us concerning the present?
Klaus Gerrit Friese Gallery is in Scharlottenburg in Berlin. I loved making the present with a Gallery in such a historic metropolis! I confirmed my ceramic ?gures from the previous 5 years. They’re based mostly on a number of tales which I created. The principle themes are household, love and transience.
Your sculptures have a type of narrative high quality, like they’re characters stumbled upon in media res. What’s the story of Ein Waldmensch, der mit einer Schnecke zusammen lebt and even Auf dem wasser musst du ständig aufpassen, dass du regelmäßig atmest?
The ?gure Waldmensch is attempting to chop off his arm in horror. It’s coated with rising vegetation, and he desires to cease the metamorphosis. The ?gure is a part of a narrative, Metamorphose. On this story, there’s a magic forest the place toxic yews develop. A metamorphosis takes place when one enters the forest: bushes develop from one’s arms or physique and one not appears to be like like a human being. The forest individuals, Waldmensch, had such an issue. They was forest employees and wore orange overalls. They grew very afraid when the transformation started, and tried to protect their human souls by creating containers from forest earth to retailer them in, earlier than the employees turned utterly into wooden. Two ladies additionally go to the forest, however they get pleasure from the metamorphosis. A Japanese deity dwelling within the forest observes and sings, however doesn’t intervene within the motion.
How would you describe the in?uence of folklore in your artwork?
From a younger age I liked to learn folktales and myths from around the globe. I grew up in a small Japanese city, which is surrounded by mountains filled with D?sojin. D?sojin are stones that are worshiped as tutelary deities. They’re simply stones, however after I stand in entrance of them and shut my eyes for 10 seconds, I expertise a brief meditation. You’ll ?nd many such locations in Japan. This expertise helps me to put a basis for the way I talk with supplies, particularly clay. Once I meditate on how the ?gure ought to look, I attempt to discuss with the clay in my fingers. This communion is identical as with the D?sojin.
Along with making your individual artwork, you’re a resident of the Künstlerhaus Vorwerkstift in Hamburg, and head of its gallery group. How do you assume being a part of this inventive neighborhood has formed your observe?
One of many causes I got here to Germany from Japan 12 years in the past, was the chance to steer an inventive life-style in Europe. I lived within the artist-house Vorwerkstift in Hamburg for 5 years, and I met many younger artists who have been sympathetic and bold, severe about their lives. That was an awesome expertise for me.
What are you engaged on proper now?
I’ve had a number of exhibits within the final 4 years, however now I wish to loosen up and ?nd a brand new rhythm for my life as an artist. That’s what I’m engaged on now.
IMAGE CREDIT: ASANA FUJIKAWA/FRED DOTT