Vivid Patchworks

Delve into the enchanting world of Fumi Imamura, an artist deeply influenced by the dynamic energy and the captivating allure of plant life

I am influenced by outsider art because I think the reality of what I consider art is energy. I find it interesting that good energy and bad energy equally become the living soul of the work. I am also influenced not only by actual plants, but also by floral fabrics, handwork such as embroidery and patchwork, and plants in religious decorations and the like. Colour is the first trigger for me when I create a piece. I start by imagining the colours I want and then I begin to create. During my pregnancy I was very attracted to the colour pink. I think colour is a direct reflection of the changes in my body and mind. It is very important.

My plant paintings are not realistic depictions of nature. They are expressions of what I consider to be the form of the mind and body, borrowed from the form of plants. Humans cannot extend or expand their bodies at will. Plants, however, can change their shape by expanding their stems and roots toward the light or toward the water. For me, painting plants feels much freer than painting the human form or anything else.

The plants and trees in my garden are a big inspiration. A ghostly azalea tree that has grown too big. The camellia transplanted from my grandmother’s house, which blooms as big as a white bird. A golden osmanthus that smells sweet in the fall. A pink double-flowered camellia that looks like it could be hiding a thumb princess.

My house is old and plants grow from under the bathroom and kitchen. I have even had a bamboo root from a bamboo bush destroy my toilet. I feel that if I were gone, the world would soon be ruled by plants. Plants serve as very beautiful but very strong creatures in our lives.

Within my paintings, I myself am a plant. What I physically feel, the temperature, the smells, the colours I see, all inspire me. In the spring I like to find small flowers blooming under the dead grass. The fragrance of renge flowers is nostalgic for me. In the old days, people used to make bouquets of flowers in the brick fields in the spring. Now that the fields are gone, it is really impossible to find and smell them. Also ritual flowers that are offered at the Buddhist altar along with sweets and incense during Obon and Ohigan. Hyacinths are a particular favourite flower of mine. I stopped growing them after I got a cat, but I used to grow them on my front porch in the spring. When I came home, it was filled with a sweet fragrance. It was as if there was a beautiful woman there.

This year I want to create large works of art. I want to make large plants, large enough to envelop me. I also want to do beeswax paintings, as I have not been able to paint for a while. For me, creating artwork is a part of my life. And everything in life, everything in living is just as important as the artwork.

Discover Fumi’s tender work @fumi__imamura

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