Kubota Fumikazu moved to Australia 13 years ago. Born in Japan, he came here to go travelling, but ended up staying and pursuing a career as an artist. His style is unique with Japanese influences, endless colour and an impressive mix between simplicity and traditionalism.
In the wake of his exhibition at C3 Art Space in Melbourne, we caught up with Fumikazu to ask him what it feels like having people admire your art, his influences, inspirations and his plans for the future.
Heavily influenced by symbolism, geometry and even maths, the work of Kubota Fumikazu is abstract, colourful and larger than life.
HAPPY: You’ve said in previous interviews that you came here on a working holiday visa from Japan. What made you choose Australia as your destination? And would you say that rather the country or the culture inspired you to pursue art as a career?
KUBOTA: Yes, I came to Australia in 2003 on a working holiday visa. It was not actually a dramatic decision to choose Australia, to be honest. My housemate was Australian and she recommended it to me to come here. Originally it was for 12 months then it ended up that 13 years later, I am still here.
I would say my friends inspired me in the first place to make art. It was around 2007 and I started falling in love with the architecture around me. I guess because these architectural designs are not common in Japan. I kept doing whatever I thought was great but I slowly realised I could go much deeper if I studied about art. So I took my first university course in 2013. Since then, I am still trying to learn more everyday.
HAPPY: Do you feel there’s a big Japanese influence in your art?
KUBOTA: It is hard to say yes or no because I have never made art back in Japan. Maybe my choice of colours and work ethic? Maybe?
HAPPY: Could you explain what the symbolism of geometry means to you?
KUBOTA: I just love playing with geometric shapes because they can be super sharp and mathematic, there are no fuzzy hiding spots. I like clean lines and strong forms, and I like the certainty of hard edges. I am still figuring out what that means for my practice.
HAPPY: What made you want to pursue art as a career? And what career path would you have approached if you didn’t ‘make’ it as an artist?
KUBOTA: I am a control freak, awkward, not necessarily good with people and I love making something all the time, maybe that is why I enjoy painting in my studio. If I am not painting or thinking about my painting, I would love to be a mathematician or bricklayer.
HAPPY: How does it feel having your artwork on display at the C3 Art Space and seeing your art is being appreciated and praised by fellow art lovers?
KUBOTA: After I spent so may hours and tears and sweat, it was a great feeling to see them on the gallery wall. There were positive and negative responses from viewers and I appreciate both responses. The viewer’s opinions are one of the important things and also one of my fears, but whilst my works are on gallery walls, I am happy.
HAPPY: At last, what would be your life goal to achieve? And what plans have you got for the future?
KUBOTA: As much as I would love to be able to answer this question, life goals are too much to think of at this point of my life. I would like to paint on big canvases, not on the wall, big canvases like metres by metres. It would be great.
I am looking forward to my upcoming show at Arcade in Footscray in December 2016.