Story of GAKU

“Gaku paint pictures!”

It was only 18 months ago that GAKU suddenly picked up a brush. Up until that point, he couldn’t sit at a desk for 5 minutes due to his hyperactivity (a common characteristic in autism), let alone draw. But a school trip to the Taro Okamoto Museum in Kawasaki changed everything. The next day, a switch must have been flipped inside of Gaku, and all of a sudden he began to paint vigorously. In his first year, he has drawn over 150 paintings.

Currently at 18 years old, GAKU has the communication skills of a six year old, but his sensibility is truly unique. His brilliant use of color and imaginative composition is a gift that transcends verbal abilities. He communicates what he intuitively feels and experiences in his right brain hemisphere. His art emanates a unique yet extraordinary energy which has travelled from the other side of the cosmos. While we exhaust ourselves with society’s rules and norms, GAKU’s visceral, free-spirited expression questions our understanding of what it means to have a “disability”.

GAKU (Gakuto Sato)

Born 2001 in Yokohama, Japan. Diagnosed with autism and intellectual disability at age 3. Hoping for a better treatment of autism for Gaku, his family moved to Los Angeles where he lived for 9 years. Upon returning to Japan at 14, his father founded I'm Inc. to pursue a more secure and reliable welfare program for his son. Currently attends Nobel High School ran by his father, a school for children with intellectual disabilities.

Story of GAKU