Fujita Fumio 藤田不美夫 (b. 1933)
Sources: Guide to Modern Japanese Woodblock Prints: 1900-1975, Helen Merritt, University of Hawaii Press, 1992, p. 19 and “Gallery Fumio Fujita” can be found at https://www.facebook.com/f.fujita421/
Born in Handa City, Aichi Prefecture, about 40km due south of Nagoya, no information is available on Fujita Fumio’s early life other than the artist’s own words from a 2005 interview in commenting on his nickname “Forest Painter“: “Since I was child, my places to play were forests... I want you to see the charm of those forests.”
We do know that he graduated from the department of oil painting at Musashino Art School (Musashino bijutsu Gakko) in 1956 where he also trained as a teacher, and began work as a graphic designer in 1958 at the age of 25 in Tokyo, a job he did for around seven years. He moved to Atsugi, west of Tokyo, in about 1963 and at about this time began making sosaku hanga (creative woodblock prints), exhibiting at various venues including the Japan Print Association Exhibition. In Atsugi he joined the Rainbow Association 虹の会, known for their life drawing sessions featuring nude women models. At about this time he also became the resident woodblock artist at a leading Ginza art gallery. In later years his work was exhibited at various galleries, including the Kanai Gallery, Tokyo, department stores and at Musashino Art University, including a 1980 exhibition of woodblock prints at the school. He exhibited for at least one year, in 1989, at the CWAJ print show.
Over the years, he became best known for his landscapes of forest scenes, often with other pictorial elements, but his work also encompass the purely abstract and combinations of abstract organic shapes with representational forms. Birds and horses frequently appear in his work. In 1987 he became a full-time lecturer at the Odakyu Culture School department of woodblock printing.
While Fujita no longer makes woodblock prints due to back problems, he continues to draw and paint in oil and in watercolor.