Purple Diary

[July 10 2011]

Our dear Japanese friend, the editor and gallerist Fumihiro Hayashi (Charlie) died last friday (cancer). We will miss him deeply.

Dear Charlie,

I wonder if you knew how deeply special and enormously loved you were. I wonder if you knew how many lives you touched with your unbridled support and love of art. You were a truly unique, and a deeply caring person; always encouraging with a huge heart for those you believed in and cared about. I wonder if you knew the impact that you had. I can only speak for myself, but it was huge. You were one of the first people to take me seriously. You took me aside and you shared your favorite books, you loaned them to me, even though they were fragile, and out-of-print. I was so ashamed to return them because one had come apart, so I carefully placed it in a binder, filing each page individually for preservation. You made a gesture, your fist to your heart. Charlie, you leave behind a legacy of this kind. More than anything you were an inspiration. You lived a life that was full and passionate, you never compromised on your ideals, and for that you will be remembered. You were first class, a kind of a Hunter Thompson of the art and publishing community in Tokyo… Your name brought a smile to everyone’s face.

I just corresponded with you weeks ago, you were encouraging as always. I feel a tragic loss for the Japanese community, for your beautiful wife,Kazumi, and for your little daughters, Fumi, and Tao. Charlie you did not take a lot of credit for your influence, you were uniquely humble in a world of celebrity, preferring to live life on your terms only. Most beautiful is how you believed in the possibilities of what could be.

Your memory will live on forever in the art community.

Text by Marlene Marino

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