Johnen + Schöttle

Yoshitomo Nara

29 Sep - 31 Oct 2007


“Most of the characters and images which emerge in my work are quoted from my past experiences and tend to be based on the dark or painful side of life. What I want to encourage the viewer to consider through my work are not social, emotional or generational problems, but rather look for hope.
The images of animals and children may be misconstrued as illustrative, naïve or decorative – this is not the case. These images stand for another possible way of living in society; one that opposes and seeks to remove the many barriers between us.”

Yoshitomo Nara

In occasion of his solo exhibition at Johnen + Schöttle Yoshitomo Nara is presenting new works, which again are inhabited by animals and children who are characteristic to his work. In detail these are a large-scale head of a dog, the mural of a Nara girl and some works on paper equally showing the sweet and mean girls while coping with ordinary life. Additionally there are five Mini Puff Marshies, huge sculptures of flat kiddy heads.
While the mural, the dog’s head and the drawings are featuring the typical Nara style and thus are continuing the narrative of his work, the Mini Puff Marshies, although significantly linked to the motifs of Nara’s world, do form an exclusive group of creations due to their specific formal aspects. They display a tenderness, co-related also to the suggestive title, that is contrasting their larger-than-life dimensions and their glossy surface, and they thus are enforcing the power of Yoshitomo Nara’s artistic credo.
Yoshitomo Nara was born and brought up in Japan, where he also went to the Aichi academy of fine arts and music before he moved to Germany for doing master classes at Düsseldorf art academy. Since then Yoshitomo Nara did show several times at Johnen + Schöttle, he also did participate in various exhibitions on contemporary Japanese art and important theme shows. He recently represented Japan in the 6th Shanghai Biennial and took part in the last Yokohama Triennial.
It is since a few years that Yoshitomo Nara and his associated team Graf are realizing huge spatial installations, incorporating his artistic cosmos and its inhabitants into an even more comprehensive dimension. This underlines Nara’s aspiration of a human life beyond ordinary social barriers. With Torre de Málaga such an installation was opened most recently at CAC Centro de Arte Contemporáneo de Malaga.

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