Asking artist Takashi Tsushima about his favourite place in Fukuoka, his hometown in southern Japan, leads to a clear answer. It’s Sesshinin, a temple and gallery run by friends where he often goes to work or wander. Inside these walls he claims to feel ‘at peace, the best.’
For A/W 2022, ARKET revisits the vivid and whimsical world of Takashi Tsushima to create a series of limited-edition wool blankets. Tsushima’s motifs blend animal forms with floral shapes while evoking human emotions – a manifestation of his belief that in the harmony of nature, we all live together as one.
’I’m not sure I can call myself an artist. I never thought of becoming an artist but I’ve loved drawing since I was a child. It was just a thing I could do. I once wanted to be a manga artist, because I love to read manga, it was so much fun. Sometimes I imitated and drew pictures. I’ve longed for working in relation to drawing, and for living with drawing. I still keep this desire in my mind. And here I am.’
‘I was born and raised in Fukuoka, and I don’t travel, so I have lived here my whole life. It’s a very compact and convenient city. With a bicycle we can go both to urban areas, the mountains, or the ocean. When I’m visiting other places for work, I notice and appreciate the convenience here. We can get delicious foods, fresh fish, at a good price. People look friendly and cheerful and many of my friends are living close to me. I feel comfortable and happy in Fukuoka,’ says Takashi Tsushima.
'Inspiration often comes when I think about nothing in particular, so that’s why I need moments for thinking nothing.’
Takashi Tsushima Artist
Of all his favourite spots in and around the city, he most often returns to the temple of Sesshinin for inspiration. The traditional garden is a particularly beautiful sight: a lush composition of bamboo trees and other greens which he observes through the changing seasons with an attentive, fascinated eye.
‘It is a spiritual place. I feel very comfortable here. There is sunshine, wild animals, cats, birds, and insects. I feel the nature and seasons in any weather – on rainy days, windy days and sunny days. At the same time, I feel a connection between people. When I hold my exhibitions here, I always feel calm and comfortable, even without any audience.’