Boyle Heights artist hopes artwork sends strong message to the world

Gajin Fujita blends in his Japanese roots into his art.
BOYLE HEIGHTS, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Boyle Heights native Gajin Fujita has had his artwork displayed across the world in places like Switzerland, Greece, Australia and here in Los Angeles at LACMA.

"There's a lot going on in my work. I like to call it like a bridge," said Fujita. "I'm bridging, not only history, but as well Eastern culture, Western culture."

Gajin mostly works with spray paint art, graffiti. He said he blends his Japanese roots into his art using elements like geishas and warriors.

"I hope that, you know, my work can resonate to the local community, as well, everybody in general and hopefully influence young children," said Fujita.

He said he spent a lot of time learning about his craft at the R.L. Stevenson library in Boyle Heights as a child.

"I've known him since he was a child," said Pearl Yonezawa, the former child librarian at R.L. Stevenson. "He was very focused on looking at something and kind of studying of a little bit and looking at the colors and looking at the designs."

Yonezawa said Fujiatas has paid it forward. In 2019, he started offering workshops to students in the community at the library.

"I think we always hope as librarians or as library staff that what we're doing makes a difference to somebody in their lives and helps them develop," said Yonezawa. "So it's amazing to have somebody you know rise up to that stature."

With recent attacks on the Asian American community, Fujita said he hopes his artwork sends a strong message to the world.

"For the Asian American community ... keep doing and keep moving forward with and how you've been moving forward," said Fujita. "Keep making us all [proud]."

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