Gajin Fujita’s painting Pacific Ghost (2014) draws inspiration from an 1895 wood block print by Japanese artist Kokunimasa (1874-1944). Commemorating a historical naval battle between two rival clans, the painting’s central figure illustrates the fearless samurai who refused defeat by attaching an anchor to his body and plunging into sea – his spirit forever roams the ocean floor. Taking liberties with color, pattern and ornamentation, Fujita reanimates this mythological figure: his armor is embellished with gradient hues of yellow and green, his hands bear emblematic “LA” logos, and his body is blanketed with a camouflage-patterned cloak.
This is just one of the paintings that will be on view in Fujita’s upcoming solo exhibition Warriors, Ghosts and Ancient Gods of the Pacific. Come see the rest of this exciting show when it opens to the public on May 27, 7-9 pm.
IMAGE: Gajin Fujita, Pacific Ghost, 2014, spray paint, acrylic paint, paint markers, mean streaks, 24kt. and 12kt. gold on wood panel6 panels, overall: 72 x 120 in. (182.9 x 304.8 cm)