Souzou – Outsider Art from Japan

Translated from the japanese souzou can mean both creation and imagination. ‘Outsider Art’ is an unsatisfactory term that pushes its untutored creators into the margins. Shamita Sharmacharja’s short introduction to this exhibition had clarity and brevity. Viewers were left to decide whether the works were ‘potent creative acts in and of themselves’ or were ‘symptomatic of illness’. I think many visitors might have understood that many artists veer somewhere between these states. Of course the exhibition had singled them out and chosen to sit them under the title ‘outsiders’.