November 7th, 2011 · Performa 11 Staff

Simon Fujiwara on being King and his First Love

For The Boy Who Cried Wolf, Simon Fujiwara's epic three- act narrative for Performa 11, the London-born artist will present an original theatrical performance exploring themes of homosexuality, family dynamics, and the secret sexual powers of Abstract Expressionist painting. Performa Magazine caught up with Fujiwara before his Commission debuts on November 9th, 2011, to find out what we should expect from this autobiographical piece.

Performa Magazine: Where do you live?

Simon Fujiwara: Berlin.

What is your occupation?


What’s the most memorable performance you've ever seen?

My own, in the mirror.

If you could change one thing about your country right now, what would it be?

Its proximity to Asia.

Where do you draw your biggest inspiration?


What was the first performance you staged?

Every year at my small- town primary school, they staged a musical in the summer term. The year I started at that school (I was 9), they decided to stage The King and I, set in Siam, Thailand, and written by Rogers and Hammerstein. It had been the headmaster’s long-standing dream to stage that musical, but until then they didn’t have the chance to, because there were no Asians in the school who could play the part of the king. In this way, I accidentally became the lead part.

Who is your first love?

My cello teacher, Ray. I was seventeen, she was seventy... 

What were you trained as?

I was trained as a child to be a concert pianist – six hours of practice a day - then I discovered the cello and fell in love with my cello teacher and gave up the piano.

What is your starting point for creating art?

Often: missing, lost or false information.

What is your greatest extravagance?

My studio.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

Reading a book in bed in the morning. It can rarely happen.

What is your favorite place for solitude?

Long-haul flights.

What is your ambition?

To continue working until I die.

What hidden details should we know about you? 

You will find out at the performance.

What can we expect from your Performa 11 piece?

You will find out at the performance!

The Boy Who Cried Wolf is staged on November 9th and 10th, 2011, at 7:30pm at Abrons Art Center, 466 Grand Street, New York.

End of article