In Conversation with Kubota Fumikazu, Artist. Melbourne, Australia.

Contemporary artist Kubota Fumikazu, not only produces art that we are busting to put on our walls, but also can be found performing as the frontman of local punk band, Krul. He’s got it all. This has definitely been one of our favourite conversations so far. Kubota’s approach to studio life is meticulous…in his words, there is “no room for error”. We loved getting to know Kubota through his comical yet honest responses.

Hi Kubota! Tell us a little more about yourself.

My name is Kubota Fumikazu. I am a geometric hard edge abstract painter, using acrylic paint on linen canvas. I was one of those kids - I didn’t play much outside and I stayed home drawing my imaginary friends on a piece of paper. I never thought I wanted to practice art until I met my partner Tania Smith. She has been basically practicing art since day one. I think she is the one responsible for becoming a self-taught artist around 2007. When I went to university in 2013, I discovered fine art. Since then I paint because I love it!

Before I went to university, my practice was intricate pen drawing inspired by European architect buildings within Melbourne. I was so fascinated by them. I thought they were so beautiful. University is where my whole world went upside down - in a good way.


How would you describe your studio space? 

My studio is pretty tidy and practical, because I am Japanese! No but people say that. I think it’s nothing to do with my background… I think I am just a busy mind and an organisation freak.


Pin Pon Pan Pon 01. 9 x 12 inches. Acrylic on linen. 2020. 


Pin Pon Pan Pon 02. 9 x 12 inches. Acrylic on linen. 2020. 

Pin Pon Pan Pon 02. 9x12 inches. Acrylic on linen, 2020.

Pin Pon Pan Pon 16. 9 x 12 inches. Acrylic on linen. 2020. 


Pin Pon Pan Pon 15. 9 x 12 inches. Acrylic on linen. 2020. 

Pin Pon Pan Pon 16. 9 x 12 inches. Acrylic on linen. 2020. 

What is your design ethos?

My design ethos is “no room for error”. It is my work and I am the one controlling everything so I can say to myself “it’s ok, don’t worry about it” but I can’t! Tiring though.

How would you describe your studio practice?

My practice is colourful, bold, flat, minimal but quiet. I haven’t yet figured out whether my work captures movement or stillness but I have years to figure it out.

What are the must-haves in your studio?

I always make sure there are enough materials to work with in my studio. Paints, brushes, canvases, Yumi’s hummus buckets (this is the best bucket to wash my brushes), empty jars for mixing colours (these jars are critical and I am pretty fussy. Nowadays I am thinking of replacing all the jars with Meredith Goat Cheese jars because of their shape and... fancy) and of course green frog masking tape.

Photography by Daniel Emma.


Tell us more about your design processes.

I daydream about new projects for days, then scribe them on pieces of paper. I jump on my computer and start sketching and making decisions, like the actual work size, how many there will be (this depends on gallery space), what colours, compositions and so on. I even measure where exactly my shapes will be placed, how big the circle will be and so on. After all decisions are made and if I’m happy with it, I mix my colours and start moving my computer sketch to canvas, taping the area I want to paint. I guess it’s like a colouring book with lots of swearing.

Where is your studio located and where would it be if travel and money didn't matter?

My studio is in Fitzroy North, I love it because I live a 5 minute drive down the road. My dream studio location would be Berlin.


What is your favourite part of your studio space?

My jars of mixed paints. The work table I made. The tape drawer. The wall of tools that remind me of Dad’s shed.


What mood does your studio portray?



What is one of your favourite reads?

Lemon by Motojiro Kaji. Published in 1925 in Japan. 

Where is your favourite place?

My bed. Not all the time though, that specific moment when you're just about to fall asleep, you're sort of fighting it but you let it win.

Whose studio are you eager to get inside of?

John Nixon. 

John Nixon, Sydney-born and a leading Australian contemporary artist, sadly passed away August this year. We would like to pay our respects.