To the outside world, Japan has long had a reputation for being fascinated with the strange and bizarre. Japan has always loved Fantastic Art since the Ukiyoe era. In 1965, a Japanese poet, Shuzo Takiguchi was the first to introduce Surrealism to Japan. He used to be in contact with Salvador Dali and is also found in Andre Breton’s dictionary of Surrealism. Many Japanese visionaries were taught by him.
Five years ago, Japanese artist Shoji Tanaka discovered the Society for the Art of Imagination (AOI) and then later Beinart.org. It was at that time that he put together IFAA believing that they needed something else than just galleries, as in Japan there are few Fantastic Art galleries. But the few do that do exist do have good collectors and many fans.
Shoji, the group’s founder, is of the opinion that most Japanese Fantastic Artists are isolated and work on their own, and have no network. Hence there was the need to create the association. The Association’s members are mostly younger artists as the older artists are not so inclined to network. It is believed that there are many Japanese artists working in the Fantastic, Surreal and Visionary genres and the IFAA wants to find them.
The Association’s priority is its yearly exhibition. The Association also invites one or two foreign artists each year to exhibit with them, with the intent to build international relationships. Websites such as those of AOI and beinArt.org have shown us the wealth of talent that exists in the world.
The L’art fantastique Paris 2009 exhibition was the first outside of Japan for the IFAA with guest artists from Australia, France and Germany included. The IFAA has since gone on do further exhibitions in Paris. That same year, the IFAA established a reciprocal relationship with the AOI based in England.
The following artists are either current or former members.
Miyuki Aihara, Shinji Asano, Katsumi Asano, Kyoko Baba, Yasuko Fuchioka, Yasuo Hagiwara, Kouya Hakusui, Tomoko Iida, Shu Iseki, Akiko Ijichi, Kyoko Inagaki, Koichi Iyoda, Yuka Iwasaki, Andrew Jones, Akiko Oikawa, KaShiMa, Kuniaki Katsu, Kazuaki Kita, Kaoru Koga, Satomi Kuwahara, Sawsin Kondo, MAKO, Yoshiko Maezawa, Taeko Mori, Neko Midori, HIKARU, Tomohiro Nakagawa, Mitsuru Nagashima, Tooru Nogawa, Shigeo Otake, Kyoko Ote, Nobuki Omori, Akiko Sakagami Roku Sasaki, Kyoko Sato, Leo Sawaki, Takashi Sotohara, Hazuki Suketake, Shiki Suruma, Tomoko Segawa, Minae Takada, Mitsuo Takeda, Shoji Tanaka, Itsuki Tatsukikawa, Sayaka Wakabayashi, Hiroko Yamaji, Mayuko Yamamura, Yoshiaki Yamanaka, Asami Yasumoto, Miharu Yokota