Kazuo Ishii tried his hand at oil painting while attending a night course at Kansai University — but it didn’t last. After that, he washed dishes and delivered newspapers to make his living. However, in his mid-40s — around the time when he became ill and often thought about death — he started drawing again. At first, Ishii had no intention of showing his works to the public; they were personal testimonies of his life. But when Ishii met a bookstore/gallery owner and held his first solo show there at the age of 49, his paintings began to garner attention.
When Ishii paints, he doesn’t focus on a subject before he begins. Instead, he keeps adding different colors until an image or inspiration occurs on the canvas before him. Using this technique, he has produced still lifes, paintings of birds and even human faces; till Oct. 30.
BB Plaza Museum of Art; (078) 802-9286; BB Plaza 2F, 4-2-7 Iwaya Nakamachi, Nada-ku, Kobe-shi; south of Iwaya Station, Hanshin Honsen Line, or 3-min. walk south of Nada Station, JR Kobe Line. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. ¥300. Closed Mon.; open holidays and closed the following day. bbpmuseum.jp.