- Born 1959 in Aomori, Japan.
- Based in Tochigi, Japan.
Many of the girls that Nara Yoshitomo depicts stand alone in the center of the picture plane, yet their distinctive facial expressions and gazes evince a will to boldly resist and confront the systems and power structures that make up the adult world. Nara studied at Aichi University of the Arts and its Graduate School of Fine Arts and Music before moving to Germany in 1988 to complete his studies at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf. Even today, as a world-renowned artist, the gaze with which Nara regards the world still harbors a complex tangle of emotions including loneliness, fear, resistance, and a sense of distance that gazes upon the center from the periphery, which are to be found within small subjects such as girls and dogs.
Orinasu Ichinomiya, a renovated building of the former Bank of Nagoya Ichinomiya Branch, is located along the approach to Masumida Shrine, where prayers are offered to the gods. The girl in Miss Moonlight (2020), exhibited here, has her eyelids shut and appears to be praying silently, wearing an expression that seems particularly full of affection even in Naraʼs body of work. As the title Miss Moonlight suggests, the girlʼs hair overflows with beautiful colors that reflect the diversity of radiant presences in this world.
In Fountain of Life (2001/2022), tears overflow from the eyes of children whose heads are superimposed on each other, as if from a fountain. These silent tears that never cease appear to be tears of hope for love and peace in todayʼs world of constant sorrow, and are not just directed at epidemics and wars. Having spent his boyhood near the U.S. military base in Misawa (now a joint Japan-U.S. Air Force base), Naraʼs wish for world peace has been depicted in many of his works since his early career. His recent series on cardboard in this exhibition also conveys his anti-nuclear and anti-war message with a sense of urgency.
- Selected Works & Awards
- Yoshitomo Nara (solo), Los Angeles County Museum of Art, USA/Yuz Museum Shanghai, Chaina/ National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts
- Yoshitomo Nar Special Exhibition (solo), Kuandu Museum of Fine Arts, Taipei/ Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts/Tainan Art Museum, Taiwan
- Yoshitomo Nara: I Forgot Their Names and Often Can’t Remember Their Faces but Remember Their Voices Well (solo), Dallas Contemporary, USA
- Yoshitomo Nara for better or worse Works: 1987-2017 (solo), Toyota Municipal Museum of Art, Aichi, Japan
- Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology’s Art Encouragement Prize, Japan
- Awarded by The International Center in New York
*Last admission 15 min before closing time
- Mondays (except for public holidays)
- Venue / Access
- Orinasu Ichinomiya
- 8 minutes on foot from Owari-Ichinomiya Station on the JR Tokaido Line.
- 8 minutes on foot from Meitetsu Ichinomiya Station on the Meitetsu Nagoya Line.