Luis Nishizawa (1918)

Of Japanese descent from his father Kenji Nishizawa's side, and Mexican on his mother Maria de Jesus Flores, Luis Nishizawa was born in Hacienda San Mateo, Cuautitlan, State of Mexico on February 2, 1918. Close contact with nature and the countryside during his childhood, had a profound influence on his sensibility and was later an important factor in his artistic work. In 1925 his family moved to Mexico City where he worked on jewelry while studying music with professor Rodolfo Halfer before being admitted to the legendary Academia San Carlos. There he studied under such masters as Julio Castellanos, Jose Chavez Morado, Alfredo Zalce y Benjamin Coria among others. He obtained the Master of Arts degree in 1947 and started his teaching career in the National College of Fine Arts, duty that he still carries out today contributing his knowledge and technique to countless generations of young artists in a generous, wise and stimulating exchange. In the beginning of his career he was part of the Mexican School of Painting, a group with strong nationalistic expressions, but his desire not to be constrained by a single artistic current, has led him to experiment with currents ranging from expressionism to abstractionism and figurativism, creating freely and without limits. The influence of his Japanese and Mexican roots, two ancestral and artistic cultures, has been significant on his work, which radiates beauty and transmits emotion through color and diversity of form. In his long artistic path he has expressed himself in many languages: murals, painting, drawing, ceramics, glass and sculpture. Luis Nishizawa was made Professor Emeritus and Doctor Honoris Causa by the National University of Mexico, Latinamerica's largest and oldest university, and received the National Arts Prize. The Japanese Government named him Sacred Treasure of the Dragon, member of its Academy of Arts and Artistic Creator of its National Arts and Culture Council. In 1992 , in recognition to his extensive artistic work, his contribution to the national cultural patrimony and his teaching work of nearly 50 years, the State government endowed the Museum-Workshop Luis Nishizawa, in the city of Toluca, Mexico. It is through their generosity and that of professor Nishizawa, that a select sample of his work is available for visitors viewing.

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