Osaka Brand Committee
Outenin Temple
Outenin Temple
digmeout (Dig-Me-Out) Installment 1
Avant-Garde x Entertaining x Open-Air Theater → Ishinha
Etching x Pastel → Sumako Yasui
Artist x Craftsperson → Yoko Matsumoto
Jokes x Art → Gendai Bijutsu Nitouhei
Sculpture x Flexibility → Kohei Nawa
Installations x Images → Chie Matsui
World Exhibition (Banpaku) x Future Ruins → Kenji Yanobe
Drive x Noise → Rogue’s Gallery
Self-Portrait x Art History → Yasumasa Morimura
 Listen (= Sound) x View (= Art) → Yukio Fujimoto
Yodogawa x Trash x Art→Yodogawa Technique
Biolgical field
Water city
Osaka Kaleidoscope
#2 Listen (= Sound) x View (= Art) → Yukio Fujimoto

What does the word “art” remind you of? You might think of paintings, carvings, prints, photographs, or objets d’art or installations if you have something of an artistic mind. What is common in those forms of art is that they are meant to be viewed. Not many people would question the definition that art is something we appreciate with our eyes. However, there is certainly a form of art that expects us to listen. Born and raised in Nagoya, Yukio Fujimoto is an Osaka-based artist who has a rare talent to create a neat piece of artwork using sounds as a material.

“SOUND OBJECT” is a series of works that represents Fujimoto’s artistic activities. It is composed of inexpensive, commonly-found music boxes set on a plate, a box, or a stand, some of the tuned teeth of which have been intentionally bent. As the box is wound up,, it plays music but with a dissembled melody due to the broken teeth. Multiple boxes may be played at the same time to improvise an ensemble in unlimited variations, depending on how much and at which timing the boxes are wound. A magical moment is born when an artist’s creation and viewer’s action are united by chance.

 Another piece of Fujimoto’s work, “EARS WITH CHAIR,” consists of a simple composition of a chair with two pipes installed on each side. As the viewer is seated on the chair and puts his/her ear against one of the pipes, he/she will hear a unique acoustic sound that swirls through the long pipe. As the unusual sound captures the viewer’s ear and mind, the viewer suddenly realizes that there exists another rather strange world right next to his/her common daily life.
『EARS WITH CHAIR』(1/10モデル)2005年
“EARS WITH CHAIR” (1/10 scale model) 2005

“STARS” 1990

Yukio Fujimoto + Taruho Inagaki 1988

Fujimoto, Duchamp, Morimura, 1989

Fujimoto’s past creations include an installation project that covered the entire exhibition floor with fallen leaves, prints and objects using old records, and an alphabet-themed planar production, just to name but a few. His unfettered approach, which challenges conventional art that is inclined to visual expressions, inspires our interest in space itself via various sounds and serves as a tool for us to appreciate the world using all of our five senses. Fujimoto often calls his own creations “philosophical toys,” which precisely describes the essence of his artwork. His production is also characterized by his exclusive use of ready-made common items, which he rarely attempts to convert. By doing so, he effectively and interestingly proves that the essence of creative work exists in deep consideration and that magical creation is possible without a secret formula. 
Fujimoto first moved from Nagoya to Osaka in 1971 to study music at Osaka University of Arts, which owned an electronic music studio that was rare in Japan at that time. Since then, Fujimoto has broadened his creative activities from his base in Osaka. Influenced by John Cage, Marcel Duchamp, the Beatles, and Taruho Inagaki, Fujimoto has successfully elevated the essence of avant-garde art in the 20th century into his own style. While his name and work are globally recognized today, Fujimoto deserves more acknowledgement and respect from the local community of Osaka. To introduce his creations, Fujimoto’s personal exhibitions are taking place simultaneously at national and public museums in Osaka, Hyogo, and Wakayama. If you have not heard Fujimoto’s name before, this is a great opportunity to experience his distinctive world of creations.

August 8, 2007
Text by Takafumi Kobuki, a freelance art writer

Yukio Fujimoto Profile

Born and raised in Nagoya, Fujimoto held his first private exhibition in 1986 and has participated in a number of private/group exhibitions both in and outside Japan. His unique project, “Bijutsukan-no Ensoku (audio picnic at the museum)” was a 10-year series of one-day annual exhibitions and drew worldwide attention (at Otani Memorial Art Museum, Nishinomiya City; 1997-2006). He has participated in La Biennale di Venezia, one of the largest international art exhibitions, Japan Pavilion in 2001 and the international exhibition in 2007.

Exhibition information

Yukio Fujimoto: “philosophical toys”
Jun. 30 (Sat.) - Aug. 5 (Sun.)
10:00 - 17:00 (No entry after 16:30)
Closed on Wednesday
General public: 500 yen, College and High school students: 300 yen, Jr. high school and Elementary school students: 200 yen
Otani Memorial Art Museum, Nishinomiya City
4-38 Nakahama-cho, Nishinomiya-shi, Hyogo
TEL: 0798-33-0164
URL: (Japanese only)

Yukio Fujimoto: plus / minus

Jul. 7 (Sat.) - Sep. 17 (Mon.)
10:00 - 17:00 (No entry after 16:30), 10:00 - 19:00 on Friday (No entry after 18:30)
Closed on Monday (Open if it falls on a public holiday; closed on the following Tuesday)
General public: 420 yen, College students: 130 yen, High school students: 70 yen, free for Jr. high school students and under
The National Museum of Art, Osaka
4-2-55 Nakanoshima, Kita-ku, Osaka
TEL: 06-4860-8600 (Hello Dial)

Yukio Fujimoto: relations

Part 1: FUJIMOTO and
Jul. 14 (Sat.) - Sep. 24 (Mon.)
Part 2: Happy Conceptual: Tomoko Sugiyama & Yukio Fujimoto
Jul. 14 (Sat.) - Sep. 2 (Sun.)
9:30 - 17:00 (No entry after 16:30)
Closed on Monday (Open if it falls on a public holiday; closed on the following Tuesday)
General public: 400 yen, College students: 250 yen, Free for High school students and under
The Museum of Modern Art, Wakayama
1-4-14 Fukiage, Wakayama-shi, Wakayama
TEL: 073-486-8690
URL: (Japanese only)

Author Profile
Takafumi Kobuki
Worked as an editor for an information magazine and became a freelancer in 2005. Writes art-related articles for Kyoto Shimbun, Bijutsu Techo, Pia Kansai, ELLE, artscape (online) and more.
Personal website: “Katte-ni RECOMMEND”
Personal blog: “Takafumi Kobuki: Art-no Kobujime”