David Stanley Hewett
Class of 1987
David Stanley Hewett pursued a degree in Japanese Studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst (UMASS). He returned from Richmond College, London, to enroll in this program in 1987. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Japanese language and literature.
Discovery of Interest/Passion:
Hewett's interest in Japan was sparked by his experiences studying karate and ceramics in New York. His passion for Japanese arts and culture grew during his time at UMASS, where he participated in an exchange program with Hokkaido University. The exchange program solidified his determination to pursue a life in Japan.
David Stanley Hewett has become one of the most well-known foreign artists in Japan. His artistic endeavors include studying ceramics, traditional painting, obi design, and the technique for making traditional screens. Notably, his painting "Majime" was chosen as a gift from Akie Abe to the First Lady of the United States in 2017. He has also designed the #1 selling obi in Japan for Takashimaya in 2008 and collaborated with renowned wine glass maker Riedel in 2018 and 2019.
As a sought-after designer, he continues to collaborate with major brands worldwide. Hewett is dedicated to promoting Japanese art and culture, sharing the country's craftsmanship excellence with the world.
Advice for Students:
Hewett recommends an open-minded and heartful approach for those interested in Japanese culture. He emphasizes the value of personal networking over formal routes, suggesting that creating personal connections through friends, colleagues, or professors is crucial. He encourages students to explore their interests fully and recommends an exchange program to experience the richness of Japanese culture.
Having spent 30 years in Japan, Hewett is married with a daughter. His studio is located in the mountain town of Karuizawa in Nagano prefecture, known for its beauty and openness to visitors. Hewett extends an invitation to those visiting Tokyo to take a day trip to Karuizawa on the Shinkansen.
In summary, David Stanley Hewett's journey from studying Japanese in the United States to becoming a prominent artist in Japan showcases his deep passion for Japanese arts and culture. His diverse experiences, artistic achievements, and dedication to promoting Japanese craftsmanship make him a notable figure in the intersection of art and cultural exchange.