Koji Nishioka

Artist of the Month August 2016

Each month we choose one of the fantastic artists represented on our website to be our Artist of the Month.

This month, it's Koji Nishioka, Koji will exhibit work alongside two other artists in our new exhibition Nama Āto: Japanese Outsider Art which opens at Pallant House Gallery on 3 August.

Koji was born in Osaka, Japan. As a baby he was very sensitive to sound. Koji would cry a lot during the night and his parents found that playing classical records would calm him down. Koji has learning disabilities, and is supported by Atelier Corners in Osaka, an organisation supporting disabled artists to realise their potential. It was many years later that a piano was donated to Atelier Corners which reignited Koji's interest in classical music and he began creating his ‘music score’ art works. Since then, he has created over 200 of his unique drawings.

Koji copies directly from music scores, meaning all of his drawings are related to existing pieces of music. His works have become highly regarded in his native Japan and internationally. In July 2007, 6 of his artworks were selected for the prestigious ABCD Collection in Paris. Over time, as Koji’s astigmatism worsens in his left eye, the compositions of his musical score drawings have moved further to the right. More recently, Koji has been leaving more white space around the score. He creates work predominantly in black and white, but occasionally experiments with colour.

Nama Āto: Japanese Outsider Art will be the first exhibition to feature Koji Nishioka’s work in the UK. Koji’s drawings will be exhibited with work by Yasuyuki Ueno and Makoto Okawa. The exhibition will tour from Pallant House Gallery in Chichester to the Unlimted Festival at London’s Southbank, before showing at Tramway Glasgow and finally at the Attenborough Arts Centre in Leicester. 

The exhibition is supported by Unlimited (delivered by Shape and Artsadmin); celebrating the work of disabled artists, using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England with additional funds from the British Council.

Click here for more information about the exhibition

Click here to visit Koji’s Outside In online gallery