A group of Japanese artists diagnosed with mental, cognitive and behavioral disabilities showcase their works of art in a rare exhibition called “Souzou: Outsider Art from Japan”. The exhibition is hosted by at London’s Wellcome Collection–a free venue that combines galleries, event spaces and meeting places–delivers.
The artists, who live in social welfare facilities, created works of art such as collections of miniature superheroes, totem-like statues made of clay or drawings of cityscapes based on information gleaned from the Internet.
“It is very well-curated. I think the works chosen are of the highest quality for this field,” said outsider-art scholar and writer Edward Gómez.
The term of “outsider art” refers to the art created by people who are unaffected by the mainstream society, according to the concept introduced by the French artist Jean Dubuffet in the 1940s.
The exhibition is focused rather on art, not on the artists’ stories, unless they are relevant, according to Mizue Kobayashi, art director of Aiseikai, a Tokyo-based social welfare organization and one of the exhibition’s collaborators.
“The art was not created because the artist is ‘disabled’ in some way. That is not the point, but rather we want the world to see that their condition is a part of their individuality,” she said, according to the international press.
“Souzou: Outsider Art from Japan” is on until June 30 at the Wellcome Collection.