Simon Fujiwara

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Simon Fujiwara, 2016

Simon Fujiwara (born 10 September 1982 in Harrow, United Kingdom) is a British/Japanese artist.[1]

His works range from paintings and photographs to installations, film and sculptures. They are shown all around the world, for example in the Tate Modern in London, the Palais de Tokyo in Paris, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Irish Museum of Modern Art in Dublin and the Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery.

In 2016 Simon Fujiwara showed shaved furs of animals in Tokyo, a multimedial biography of the Irish "traitor" Roger Casement in Dublin[2] and the skin pigments of the German chancellor Angela Merkel, magnified by the factor of 1,000, in Berlin.[3] In Bregenz (Austria) he built a replica of the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam.

Fujiwara sees his art as a mixture of politics, architecture and his own biography. In the Tate St. Ives for example he reconstructed the bar of a hotel his parents ran in Spain when Simon was little. He charged the scene with erotic elements.[4]

Fujiwara's 9m A Spire (2015), in cast jesmonite, at the University of Leeds[5][6]


Simon Fujiwara was born in the London suburb of Harrow. His family (the mother British, the father Japanese) moved to Japan, later to Spain and finally to Cornwall, where Simon discovered his sense for art. He studied architecture at the University of Cambridge and, from 2005 until 2008, art at the Städelschule in Frankfurt. He lives in Berlin.

Selected Exhibitions and Reviews[edit]

Fujiwara's works have been widely exhibited around the world both in solo and group exhibitions.[1]

'The museum of incest' is among his earliest performance-based works to be selected for individual display marking the beginning of his career as an artist.[7] Originally performed in 2008 at the Limoncello Gallery in London, 'The museum of incest' was replicated in several occasions and contexts throughout the years. A printed guide was published by Archive Books to accompany later versions of the installation.[8]

In 2008, jointly with architect Sam Causer, Fujiwara conceived 'the closet gallery', a site-specific installation launched as part of the London Festival of Architecture and supported by the Architecture Foundation.[9] His residency at the Los Angeles' MAK Centre for Contemporary Art culminated in 2009 with 'Impersonator', a performance investigating the cult of Arnold Schwarzenegger.[10][7]

First exhibited in 2008 at the Neue Alte Brücke in Franckfurt am Main, 'Welcome to the Hotel Munber' denounced the oppression and censorship against homosexuals during the Francoist dictatorship in Spain.[11] It was displayed, among the different locations, at Art Basel 41 in 2010, The Power Plant in 2011 and Tate St. Ives in 2012.[12][13] It received particular attention on international media when in 2011 was censored at the Singapore Biennale. More specifically, some porno-homosexual imagery of the project were removed without the artist's consent.[14][15][16]

For the 2010 Frieze Art Fair, he conceived 'Frozen'. Recognised with the Cartier Award for emerging artists, the site-specific installation recreates the archaeological ruins of an imaginary lost civilisation.[17] In 2011 his first theatrical performance 'The boy who cried wolf' was presented at Berlin's Hebbel am Ufer theatre, New York's Performa 11 Biennale and San Francisco's Museum of Modern Art.[18][19][20]


Between October 2008 and March 2009, Fujiwara was a MAK Center's artist-in-residence at the Schindler House in Los Angeles.[10] In 2009 was awarded the Arts Foundation Fellowship Award for Interior Architecture.[21] The site-specific installation 'frozen' earned him the Cartier Award 2010 for emerging artists.[22] The same year was awarded the Iaspis Residency in Gothenburg, and simultaneously with 'welcome to the Hotel Munberwon', installation on view at Art Statements, won the Baloise Art Prize.[23][24] In 2011 was nominated for the South Bank Award for the visual art category.[25]


  1. ^ a b Taro Nasu Gallery. "Simon Fujiwara CV" (PDF). Retrieved 2020-07-23.
  2. ^ Off Topic podcast: Roger Casement biopic, Assassin’s Creed and the future of libraries, Irish Times, May 20, 2016
  3. ^ Birgit Sonna: Interview with Simon Fujiwara on Merkels Puderdose in Art Magazin, June 2016 Archived 2016-06-09 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ Tate St. Yves, 2012
  5. ^ "A Spire - Laidlaw Library". Projects. Mike Smith Studio. Retrieved 22 July 2019.
  6. ^ "Public Art Trail" (PDF). University of Leeds. Retrieved 22 July 2019.
  7. ^ a b "Residency: Simon Fujiwara". MAP Magazine. 2009-06-01. Retrieved 2020-07-23.
  8. ^ Latitudes | Barcelona (2009-05-30), Simon Fujiwara_cover detail, retrieved 2020-07-23
  9. ^ "Closet Gallery | Architecture Foundation". Retrieved 2020-07-23.
  10. ^ a b "Final Projects: Group XXVII | MAK Center for Art and Architecture, Los Angeles". Retrieved 2020-07-23.
  11. ^ Taro Nasu Gallery. "Simon Fujiwara CV" (PDF). Retrieved 23 July 2020.
  12. ^ "The Power Plant - Welcome to the Hotel Munber - 2011 - Exhibitions – The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery – Harbourfront Centre". Retrieved 2020-08-03.
  13. ^ Tate. "Simon Fujiwara: Since 1982, room guide Gallery 4: Welcome to the Hotel Munber 2008–10". Tate. Retrieved 2020-08-03.
  14. ^ Gambillara, Martina (2012-06-01). "Censura a Singapore". Artribune (in Italian). Retrieved 2020-08-03.
  15. ^ "". Retrieved 2020-08-03.
  16. ^ "Simon Fujiwara: Censored at the Singapore Biennale 2011". Retrieved 2020-08-03.
  17. ^ Heathcote, Edwin. "Frieze special: the underworld of art". Financial Times. Retrieved 2020-08-26.
  19. ^ "Simon Fujiwara on being King and his First Love". Performa Magazine. Retrieved 2020-08-26.
  20. ^ "Simon Fujiwara's The Boy Who Cried Wolf". Performa Magazine. Retrieved 2020-08-26.
  21. ^ "Arts Foundation | Fujiwara, Simon". Retrieved 2020-07-23.
  22. ^ "Cartier Award 2010". Retrieved 2020-07-23.
  23. ^ "Grantholders 1997 - 2015". Retrieved 2020-07-23.
  24. ^ Baloise Group. "Simon Fujiwara - Winner of 2010". Retrieved 2020-07-23.
  25. ^ Guardian Staff (2010-12-01). "The South Bank Show Awards 2011: nominee list". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2020-07-23.