Gajin Fujita, Graffiti Artist
Quetzal flores interviewed local Japanese-American graffiti artist Gajin Fujita in his Echo Park home studio in 2017.
Derived from ACTA’s cultural treasures asset mapping initiative in, Quetzal Flores interviews LA-based graffiti artist Gajin Fujita, who grew up in East Los Angeles. During their conversation, Fujita shares intimate details of his family's history and core memories of his upbringing in a Japanese immigrant household. As their conversation unfolds, we learn how the trauma inflicted by the United States during WWII impacted Japanese-American families and rippled across generations, as well as how the communities, culture, and identity of Boyle Heights shaped his artistic practice while growing up in Los Angeles.
Gajin Fujita (b. 1972) creates work that embodies the cultural and class contradictions at the precipice of urban Los Angeles. His style blends Eastern techniques (anime, partitioned screens, ukiyo-e), and elements (geishas, warriors, demons), with Western, urban imagery (Latino graffiti, U.S. pop culture imagery) in a way that is stunning and vibrant, yet harmonious-- constantly exploring how artistic traditions are both maintained and altered as they move across stylistic and national borders.He is a member of LA graffiti crews K2S (Kill 2 Succeed) and KGB (Kids Gone Bad). Fujita's work has been widely exhibited at galleries and museums such as Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art (Kansas City), L.A. Louver Gallery and several international venues in Switzerland, Greece, Australia and Belgium. He is represented by L.A. Louver in Venice, CA.