MA Fine Art graduate Akihito Izumi is looking forward to two exhibitions at Gallery Shimada, Kobe and Duke Street Studios, Liverpool.

Akihito tells us more about his work:

“Before taking part in MA Fine Art at AUB 2014/15, I had been working as an office clerk in Japan for 20 years. I had also worked as an illustrator and cartoonist but as an artist I have basically been self-taught.

Around 2008 I started painting with oils mainly for pleasure. However, gradually I became more immersed with it and shifted my focus to oil painting full time. In 2010 I came across an exhibition catalogue of the work of artist Kazuo Ishii at Gallery Shimada (both Japanese). Being moved and encouraged by their stories, I decided to devote myself to making paintings and undergo further my academic education to enhance my practice. A combination of research and good fortune brought me to the Arts University Bournemouth to study on the MA Fine Art course.

My experience at AUB was challenging but encouraging. My Course Leader and other tutors were very keen on aesthetic point of view and at the same time very helpful. The guidance and advice I received really helped with the development of my practice, and along with the research and study visits I developed a greater understanding of my practice, as a Japanese national, a child of 1960’s, within the context of Western Art.

Also, I must thank my peers on the MA and BA for sharing the good times and the struggles of studying Fine Art. Many of them are still in touch and even now I can feel I am not walking alone as a practitioner.

Since returning to Japan and Kobe City where Gallery Shimada is located, I have spent the past six months independently developing my practice and in April 2016 made an appointment with the Gallery and brought my portfolio to Mr. Shimada, the gallery owner. He looked over my works for a while and has offered me an exhibition in his gallery. He is a rigorous man and it was hard to read his face, however fortunately my work and my ideas were recognized. I think this is just a first step and from here I have to walk a long way but I was very excited for the opportunity.

I will also be taking part in the exhibition the Dark Side of Light Night at the Duke Street Studios, Liverpool in May this year. I am keen to maintain my practice through interaction and exchange. I have applied for many opportunities and would encourage graduates to be persistent.”