Boyle Heights artist hopes artwork sends strong message to the world

Gajin Fujita, a Boyle Heights native, hopes his artwork sends a strong message to the world.

Video Transcript

- In honor of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, we are highlighting community members who are making a difference.

- Our Community Journalist Eric Resendiz tells us about a Boyle Heights native who is using his Japanese roots and modern art skills to share our message.

ERIC RESENDIZ: Boyle Heights native Gajin Fujita has had his artwork displayed across the world in places like Switzerland, Greece, Australia, and here in LA at Lachmann.

GAJIN FUJITA: There's a lot going on in my works. So it's a-- I like to call it like a bridge. I'm bridging not only history but as well Eastern culture, Western culture.

ERIC RESENDIZ: Gajin mostly works with spraypaint art graffiti. He says he blends his Japanese roots into his art, using elements like geishas and warriors.

GAJIN FUJITA: I hope that, you know, my work can resonate to the local community as well everybody in general. And hopefully, influence young children like I would once was.

ERIC RESENDIZ: Gajin says he spent a lot of time learning about his craft as a child by flipping through art books at the RL Stevenson Library in Boyle Heights.

PEARL YONEZAWA: I've known him since he was a child. He was very focused. He was very focused on looking at something and kind of studying it a little bit, and looking at the colors, and looking at the designs.

ERIC RESENDIZ: Pearl says Gajin has paid it forward. In 2019, Gajin started offering workshops to students in the community at the library.

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

ERIC RESENDIZ: With recent attacks on the Asian-American community, Gajin says he hopes his artwork sends a strong message to the world.

GAJIN FUJITA: For the Asian-American community, to keep doing, and keep moving forward, to keep making all of us proud not just the Asians but all of us Americans.

ERIC RESENDIZ: In Boyle Heights, Eric Resendiz, ABC 7 Eyewitness News.

- And as we mark Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, we will be bringing all kinds of stories to you this month right here on Eyewitness News. And join us for an hour long, special hour America Asian voices this Saturday at 3:00 PM.