Art Action UK Virtual Artist Residency 2021

Akari Fujise

Akari Fujise explores the idea of contemporary drawing practice, focusing on overlooked traces

Artists Statement

My work is based on the idea of contemporary drawing. I have been exploring the transformation of value, sublimity and silence through physical approaches such as embroidery, especially using overlooked traces as motifs. I first encountered contemporary drawing in 2019, when I started studying contemporary art in London. It is a term that is unfamiliar to me in Japan, but as I learned about the practical aspects of drawing, such as its characteristic physicality and mapping, as well as the philosophical aspects, I felt the possibility of expanding the concept of it. What I draw is not my own internal world, but the lines that are created between the environment and the body. In my work, I sometimes become the recipient and try to incorporate the environment by being controlled by it.

Installation view (Full of Days), 2021, C-print, Square Lumber, Gravel, Clay (Red Clay, Yellow Clay, Oumi Clay) © Akari Fujise

 This residency was an opportunity for me to explore this word “control". In order to capture the fluid and ephemeral traces of life, it is necessary to face the question, "To what extent do I control and to what extent do I obey the environment? With this question, I discovered new subjects and experimented with methods and materials.

 What is a trace, anyway? Traces is the only clue to time. When we see traces, we can intuitively feel a sense of time as evidence that the past existed. On the other hand, when I first joined a camp in the Sahara Desert, I experienced a great distortion of time in an environment where my footprints were being erased moment by moment. In the desert, I could not find any traces to predict when a place was born and how long it would last. In an environment where I cannot even mark my own time, the flow of time spills out of my hands like sand.

 The series "Full of Days" is inspired by the ephemeral traces that are ubiquitous in our daily lives, such as faded road markings on urban pavements, pebbles caught between gutter lids and benches, and fallen leaves that line the roadway and sidewalk. Of all the traces that exist in this world, they are formed in the interstices between the urban environment and the unconscious movements of the people. For example, road signs are not only signs to guide people's movements, but they themselves are "surfaces" that are changing with nature, including humans, and people can confirm the passage of time through the increase of their entropy.

 This work was installed in a public gravel pit where people come and go on a full moon day, and left there for the same number of days as the moon makes one revolution around the earth.  The broken system, which seemed to be on the verge of disappearing at any moment, had the appearance of stardust and seemed to remind us of the abyss and impermanence of the universal physical laws of nature. On the other hand, it is also true that most of the disintegration of the system was caused by the footprints of people walking and the occasional cleaning vehicles, and that these human activities accelerated the disintegration of the surface at a different speed.

 Regarding the concept of time, Einstein proved that there is no single time but different times in each space. Later, Boltzmann used the concept of entropy to prove that the difference between the past and the future is caused by the "blurring of human vision," which is the inability to take into account accurate information at the microscopic level.

 While modern science has revealed the true nature of unintuitive time and presented its possibilities, when I think about my own sense of time, which still seems to flow from the past to the future and also seems to share the same time with others, I feel both frustration and love for my body, which has this blurred vision.

Full of Days, 2021 © Akari Fujise

Full of Days, 2021 © Akari Fujise

Full of Days, 2021 © Akari Fujise
Full of Days, 2021 © Akari Fujise

Full of Days, 2021 © Akari Fujise


Akari Fujise is an artist currently living in Tokyo. She is producing works that are centred on a drawing practice.  She discovers the overlooked traces in our daily lives and tries to change their value through her artistic process. In her work, she sometimes becomes the recipient and tries to incorporate the environment by letting go of control.

After gaining BA Arts in Environment and Information Studies (Cognitive Science) Keio University, 2015 She has relocated to London and studied, Drawing and Conceptual Practice, at CCW Foundation Diploma, at the University of the Arts London 2020.  Akari has returned to Japan in the midst of initial chaos of Covid Crisis in early 2020. She has been continuing her practice under the lockdown situation and had a Solo Exhibition “I heard the quiet dismantling sound“ 2021, Gallery33, Tokyo.

Akari is also involved in international contemporary drawing research as a researcher at Drawing Tube, an artist's collective.