Outsider art from Japan
46 artists, 1.000 artworks, exhibited at Het Dolhuys museum.
Het Dolhuys museum located in Haarlem, presents ‘Outsider Art from Japan’, an exhibition of nearly 1000 artworks by 46 different artists. This large collection of paintings, sculptures and objects shows, until recently hidden, Japanese Outsider Art: made by people who are not trained as an artist, but make extraordinary artwork. ,,The aesthetic beauty of these works of art moves me. The exhibition presents a whole different side of Japan,’’ says Hans Looijen, director of Het Dolhuys, the national museum of psychiatry in the Netherlands. ‘Outsider art from Japan’ will exhibit from April 3rd to September 2nd, 2012.
Hans Looijen visited the 2010 exhibition ‘Art Brut Japonais’ in Paris where some of these artists first exhibited their work. The exhibition attracted 120.000 visitors and was a great success. He was curious about the personal stories of the makers and traveled to Japan. Most artists have a psychiatric disorder or a mental handicap and he visited them in different settings. Looijen selected forty-six artists and almost 1000 artworks for the exhibition at museum Het Dolhuys. Around 25 artists will exhibit for the first time in Europe.
The exhibition ‘Outsider art from Japan’ includes artwork of Marie Suzuki (1979). Fascinated by the human body, breasts and genitals dominate her expressive paintings. Her work is based on childhood memories, art for her is a vital outlet. ,,Drawing seems to help her relax,’‘ says her biography. On the occasion of the exhibition, a catalog of all the biographies of 46 artists will be made. Other exceptional artwork is of Shinichi Sawada (1982). In a very perfectionist way he creates ceramic sculptures that look like friendly monsters. Sawada has an autistic disorder and barely speaks, he also communicates through his art.
‘Outsider Art from Japan’ is a taboo-breaking exhibition. To differ from the norm is not accepted in Japanese culture. People with mental illness are often kept outside society. At Het Dolhuys museum they will make contact with the outside world by exhibiting their artworks. The exhibition was developed through collaboration with the ‘Aiseikai Organization’ and the No-Ma Borderless art museum in Japan.