January 13, 2012 - Tate St Ives - Simon Fujiwara
January 13, 2012

Simon Fujiwara

Portrait of Simon Fujiwara in front of a
reproduction of Patrick Heron’s
“Horizontal Stripe Painting:
November 1957–January 1958.”

Simon Fujiwara
Since 1982

18 January–7 May 2012

Tate St Ives
Porthmeor Beach
St Ives
TR26 1TG



Tate St Ives presents Simon Fujiwara: Since 1982, the artist’s first major show in the UK and his most ambitious exhibition to date. Born in 1982, Fujiwara is a Berlin-based British/Japanese artist who has been building a strong reputation over the last few years. Since 1982 includes six new installations created especially for Tate St Ives, many of them integrating key Tate Collection works.

Autobiography, both real and imagined, forms the basis of much of Fujiwara’s art. Through writing, performance and installation, he uses storytelling to fuse aspects of his identity and family experiences with myths and historical truths. Through this process, he creates intricate works that blur fact and fiction to powerful effect, producing alternate readings of his inner world and universal cultural and political narratives.

Fujiwara grew up in Carbis Bay, just a mile from St Ives, and his recent projects have increasingly explored his experiences in the town. As its title suggests, the show presents scenes from Fujiwara’s life, from conception to adulthood, in a series of room-size installations that the artist compares to the interiors of National Trust properties. Given this unique context, the exhibition fuses memories and artefacts both from the private sphere and the social realm.

The exhibition includes important works such as The Mirror Stage 2009–12, an exploration of his adolescent encounter with a Patrick Heron painting at the opening of Tate St Ives in 1993. Welcome to the Hotel Munber 2008–10 is the set for a fictitious erotic story taking place in the Spanish hotel bar his parents ran during Franco’s regime. Letters From Mexico 2010–11 consists of a group of dispatches the artist has addressed to ‘Europe’, which discuss subjects ranging from colonialism to class inequality. The show also includes a number of commissioned works.

Selective Memory 2012 is a group of large-scale, childlike models of lighthouses, inspired by Fujiwara’s boyhood recollection of Alfred Wallis’ paintings. Rehearsal for a Reunion (with the Father of Pottery) 2011–12 revisits Bernard Leach and Shoji Hamada’s friendship in the form of a pottery workshop Fujiwara undertook with his father. Mothers, of Invention 2012 includes a display of works by a number of women artists and Fujiwara, inspired, in part, by gothic imagery and Barbara Hepworth’s St Ives studio.

Opening hours: March–October daily 10.00–17.20, last admission 17.00. November–February, Tuesday–Sunday 10.00–16.20, last admission 16.00.

*Image above:
© Estate of Patrick Heron. All Rights Reserved, DACS, 2011.
Photo: Benedicte Sehested.
© Simon Fujiwara. 

Tate St Ives presents Simon Fujiwara
Tate St Ives
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