Gajin Fujita, Sky’s the Limit #16, 2022
13.25 x 12.25 inches
Mixografia print on handmade paper and archival pigment print, with attached kite string
Mixografia is honored to collaborate with Los Angeles native Gajin Fujita on Sky’s the Limit (2022), a new edition benefiting Venice Family Clinic. The Japanese American artist merges media in a portrayal of Yakko-san, who is identified in a protector role in samurai processions. The flying figure is an emblem of service, a guardian of sorts, and is a common motif among Edo period Japanese paper kites. The handmade paper print marks the artist’s first work in a three-dimensional medium; Fujita takes cues from traditional Japanese paper craft and kite-making, combining elements of embossing, painting, and mixed-media collage. A free-hanging kite string attaches to the figure at the shoulders and meets at a point in the center torso, falling with gravity according to the artwork’s position and angle. Using imagery that references L.A. and its unique urban identity, from graffiti writing to the figure’s black Nike Cortez sneakers, in tandem with the figure’s traditional garb and ukiyo-e styled ornamentation, Fujita’s composition spins this ages-old icon into a pertinent symbol fixed within contemporary life. Fujita says the inspiration for the edition “came from the state this world is in, I wanted to make something that would be symbolic of hope.” And indeed, Yakko-san flies high above the clouds as a steward of care and strength over all else.