TAKASHI SHUJI (1974, JAPAN)
Takashi Shuji was born in 1974 in Hyogo Prefecture, Japan. He currently lives with his family in the town of Nishinomiya. After finishing his education in a specialist school (he has Down’s Syndrome), at the age of eighteen, he attended the Suzukake Institution, an establishment providing work for the mentally handicapped in Kôbé. Every month he goes to the art workshop connected to this institution.
Takashi produces drawings in pastels, taking inspiration from the various objects placed on his work table: vessels, fire extinguishers, pitchers, plastic water droppers, balls of wool and small brushes. Bent over his support, a few centimeters away from the sheet of paper, his face gradually becomes covered with black pastel powder, the colour that predominates in his compositions.
Shuji always looks at his subject attentively but never seeks to copy it faithfully. This is why, when he reaches the edge of a sheet, the shape in progress ends, even if it is incomplete. In drawing, he uses a rubber, a tool contrary to the Japanese graphic tradition in which rethinking does not exist, any more than correction or preliminary sketching. But he uses it not to rub out or correct a mistake but to “outline” with precision the subject that he has drawn beforehand in the form of a black mass.
Takashi Shuji works on his drawings as a ceramic modeler. He begins with a black mass to which he gives its final form by erasing with an eraser or by adding pastel. He does not try to copy the object in front of him in the studio, but rather to capture the “essence” or the feeling that it inspires.
Photos taken from Collection de l’Art Brut, Lausanne:
1) Takashi Grue, between 1980 and 2007, pastel on cardboard 54 x 37,6 cm © Collection de l’Art Brut, Lausanne
2) Takashi Moto, entre 1980 et 2007, pastel on cardboard 38 x 54 cm © Collection de l’Art Brut, Lausanne
3) Takashi Scies et vases, marteaux, tournevis et trains, between 1980 and 2007, pastel on cardboard 54 x 76,8 cm © Collection de l’Art Brut, Lausanne
4) Takashi Coton et filet, 2006, pastel on paper 54,5 x 79 cm © Collection de l’Art Brut, Lausanne