“I have always thirsted for knowledge, I have always been full of questions.” ― Hermann Hesse, Siddhartha

Masanori Fukuoka was born in Himeji in 1953. At the age of 17, he read Siddhartha, which inspired him to pursue Buddhist Studies at Ryukoku University the following year. While in university, he was exposed to Rabindranath Tagore’s epic poem, Gitanjali and was deeply influenced by the subtlety of Satyajit Ray’s cinematic language.

Masanori first visited India in 1975. He was initially drawn to India as it was the seat of Buddhist learning. He returned to India between twenty and twenty-five times over the next fifteen years, but bought his first painting only in 1990.

Though he traveled the world extensively during this time, nothing ignited the passion in him the way Indian Art eventually would.

It was a trip to the National Gallery of Modern Art in New Delhi, and specifically viewing Maqbool Fida Husain’s Cyclonic Silence that moved him greatly and led him to seek out galleries where he could possibly purchase works by Husain and other artists he had seen in the Museum.

When he began buying Indian art in 1990, it was not as a collector, but as a self-appointed envoy for Indian art in Japan. Masanori’s approach to art has always been a personal one. The collection is a reflection of his changing personal missions over time. Initially being motivated by an altruistic, and outward looking approach to one that was driven by his personal tastes and engagement. “I want to live close to the art and see the collection whenever I feel like it… where I can go to see the works in my kurta.’ Sums up his intimate feeling for the works he has brought together.

He opened the Glenbarra Art Museum in 1991 to share the works of approximately sixty Indian artists of the 20th century with a Japanese audience.

A Collector’s Journey : "Looking West” - Pundole’s Catalogue, 2020