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Akira Fujimoto -contemporary artist

Akira Fujimoto – Contemporary art

Akira Fujimoto is a contemporary artist who mainly works in Tokyo and engages in a variety of expressive activities focusing on social phenomena and environmental issues. Since 2019, he has been creating art projects and works using the motif of marine debris (ocean plastic) that washes ashore. He is usually based at his studio in Tokyo, but to create the pieces made from marine debris, he works on the coasts where the materials accumulate. Research and fieldwork are important to him, and he searches for hot spots of marine debris accumulation that are not shown on maps by looking at satellite images such as Google Maps. He actually goes to beaches that are difficult to reach, often without any roads, sometimes walking long distances on rugged coastline or rowing a SUP approaching from the sea.

On the coast, he often sees how marine debris is incorporated into native plants and becomes part of the ecosystem.
Marine debris overflows from society, travels thousands of miles across borders, and even ends up on the coasts. However, it doesn’t accumulate on easily accessible beaches. This is because people continue to prioritise cleaning beaches with high value for tourism. Akira Fujimoto changed his viewpoint and began to create works on the hardto-reach beaches by bringing production tools with him and collecting materials from large amounts of marine debris. He advances the creation there as much as possible, and takes only the melted and
hardened pieces back to his studio in Tokyo, because it is more rational than transporting large amounts of marine debris, and there are more options for materials for his works.
The production process for his works is:

1.Bring production tools to the coast.
2.Build a horizontal burning place on the inclination of the coast, collect marine debris, and cut it into pieces to be easily processed.
3.Lay out the plastic pieces on the iron plate and cover them with a lid. Using the charcoal, melt them by heat and pressure and turn it into a single plate like a pancake.
4.Take them back to his atelier in Tokyo, scrape the surface, dig out the texture of the laminated plastic, and polish it.

When making a large piece, he takes the parts made on the beach to a collaborating factory, using their large equipment for heating and pressing to melt the parts and make one large piece. These works are proposed as paintings to be displayed on the walls of the gallery. In addition, by reusing the same materials, he creates installations of towers similar to the mythical Tower of Babel in various locations in an art project called “Babel of the Sea”. phor for modern society overflowing with consumption and ser vices, and proposes artworks as a mass of various energies.