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Louis Fransen

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Louis Fransen 
Public Art Artist (Mural, Stained Glass, etc.)

Public Art Artist (Mural, Stained Glass, etc.)

Born in Antwerp, Belgium in 1928. After visiting various districts in Mexico, based in Japan, he taught at Tokyo University of the Arts and Okinawa Prefectural University of Arts, and energetically developed public art (mural, stained glass, etc) production activities. In his works with unique modeling nuances and sophisticated color senses, even familiar motifs give us surprising and fresh impressions. In addition, he also left a number of achievements as a modeling and production specialist for public art, "translating" original paintings by other authors into murals and so on. Passed away in 2010.

History

1928
Born in Beerse in the Belgian province of Antwerp on October 10, as the eldest of four children. His father was an agricultural instructor and his mother embroiderer and maker of other handicrafts.
1931
Moved to Hoogstraten, Antwerp Province.
1940
Graduated from elementary school. Learned of the existence of Japan by seeing the words "Made in Japan" stamped on a toy train he received as a Christmas gift. Attended preparatory school 1941.
1941
Entered middle school.
1944
Father killed in World War II.
1947
Graduated from high school. Entered Malines Great Seminary, where he studied philosophy and theology.
1953
Graduated from Malines Great Seminary and became a middle school instructor, teaching Greek and Latin.
1955
Prepared to become a missionary. Requested to be sent to church in Japan.
1957
Left from the port at Marseilles to do missionary work in Japan. Stopped en route at Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Hong Kong, and the Philippines, recording in sketches what he saw there.
1959
Began work as a missionary at Himeji Catholic Church (Scheut Congregation). Began studying Japanese. Around this time, embarked on the interior decoration of churches.
1960
Transferred to Catholic Minor Seminary in Nagasaki.
1964
Returned to Belgium and studied as an auditor at the Antwerp Academy. Studied stained glass and ceramics. Studied stained glass work at Atelier Brabant, Netherlands. Involved in founding the Institute of Creative Education in Hoogstraten.
1966
Returned to Japan to take up missionary work once more at the Minor Seminary in Nagasaki. Studied ceramics in Arita, Saga prefecture. Installed in Nishimachi Church his mural produced at Iwao Jiki ceramic company in Arita.
1967
Transferred to Matsubara Church in Tokyo's Setagaya ward. Enrolled as an auditor at Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music (now Tokyo University of the Arts). Appointed professor of the Oil Painting department at Junshin College in Hachioji, Tokyo (retired in 1977).
1968
Entered Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music graduate school.
1970
Produced stained glass as graduation work at Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music graduate school. This work later installed at Himeji Church. Became research fellow at Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music and began preparations to found a department for the study of stained glass art.
1971
Appointed part-time instructor of stained glass department at Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music.
1972
Visited Mexico and formed friendships with David Alfaro Siqueiros, leader of the Mexican Mural Renaissance at that time, as well as other well-known artists like Luis Nishizawa and Mathias Goeritz. Greatly influenced by Mexican mural art, he learned both techniques and the perspective of a mural painter, expecially from Luis Nishizawa.
1973
Visited Mexico to study Aztec and Mayan civilizations.
1974
Visited Mexico, Guatemala, and Peru to study Maya and Inca civilizations. At the invitation of the Mexican Federation of Architects delivered lecture on arts and architecture. Solo exhibition in Belgium.
1975
Produced ceramic mural (completed in October), The 1868 Meeting of Saigo Takamori and Katsu Kaishu, for Tamachi Station of the Japan National Railway (now JR East Japan) Yamanote Line at the request of the Japan Traffic Culture Association. Made acquaintance of Hisao Taki, executive director of the Japan Traffic Culture Association.
1977
Supervised production (completed in February) of a ceramic mural based on Hideo Nishiyama's original painting, The Four Seasons of the Thirty-six Peaks of Kyoto Higashiyama. Resigned clerical position and left the Catholic church. Appointed director of the Modern Mural Arts Institute, founded by the Japan Traffic Culture Association. Married Ogata Michiyo.
1980
CREARE Shigaraki Studio of Modern Mural Arts Institute, established in Shigaraki, Shiga prefecture.
1981
Moved to Yugawara. CREARE Atami-Yugawara Studio of the Modern Mural Arts Institute established in the city of Atami, Shizuoka prefecture.
1982
Invited prominent German stained glass designer Ludwig Schaffrath to produce a stained glass work for installation at Japan National Railway (now JR East Japan) Omiya Station. Their friendship deepened as he assisted with the production.
1983
Participated in the seminar "Modern Architecture and Space Creation" (sponsored by Asahi Shimbunsha with the supoort of the Architectural Institute of Japan) as one of the panelists, along with Ludwig Schaffrath, Yamashita Kazumasa, Iwata Hisatoshi, Watanabe Toyokazu, etc.
1986
Lectured on stained glass at Tama Art University. Also lectured at the Association of Far Eastern Architects and Technologists. Received the Yokohama Cityscape Award for a series of works installed in the "Porta" underground mall at Yokohama Station.
1987
Took part in establishment of Okinawa Prefectural University of Arts and appointed professor in the painting department (retired in 1997).
1990
Took Japanese citizenship.
1992
Taught an intensive course at the China Central Academy of Fine Arts. Appointed visiting professor of the China Central Academy of Fine Arts.
1999
Stained glass work installed at the Tokyo Family Court was chosen for a postage stamp commemorating the 50th anniversary of the court.
2006
Made professor emeritus of Okinawa Prefectural University of Arts.
2010
Passed away April 26.
日本に「1% フォー・アート」の実現を
日本に「1% フォー・アート」の実現を
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