Nara Yoshitomo's Melancholy Children Redeemed Me
Yoshitomo Nara is a Japanese artist known for his big-headed girls with piercing eyes. He has had nearly 40 solo exhibitions and his art work has been housed at the MoMA and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). His most well-known and repeated subjects are "big-headed girls" with piercing eyes, who one Nara scholar describes as having "childlike expressions [that] resonate with adult emotions, [their] embodiment of kawaii (cuteness) carries a dark humor, and any explicit cultural references are intertwined with personal memories."
He is a pioneering figure in contemporary art whose signature style celebrates the introspective freedom of the imagination and the individual.
Midnight Truth , He started drawing, but he couldn't draw at the same speed as before. Even so, he felt that it was slowly becoming possible to draw more in-depth works. Overlapping colors and talking carefully with the face he drew was not a one-sided drawing by himself, but the feeling of drawing while talking to the subject he was drawing.
Although sometimes it went smoothly, sometimes it was not smooth, but the attitude towards the picture was obviously different from the previous one. Not relying on youth and momentum to rush forward, but to become able to think deeply. Be able to draw carefully even if it takes a lot of time. This kind of carefulness is not the kind of carefulness of the accurate depiction method, but the careful thinking in the heart.
He feels that although the pace of creation has slowed down, he has become able to maintain a certain level of quality, unlike in the past when he painted works mixed with jade and stone. Such changes then blossomed in Midnight Truth, drawn in 2017.
"Midnight Truth" was completed in the sixth year after the earthquake, and he feels that he has finally drawn his true skills.
Miss Moonlight , She completed "Miss Moonlight" in the early spring of 2020. It seemed to be born out of no expectation, no hope. To her, it seems that the most anticipated work is born out of no expectations. Her eyes closed as if she was thinking about something.
This is a work she painted calmly while worrying about various things after the earthquake in 2011, and it is also the end of her own painting. "Miss Moonlight" seemed to say to her "it's okay to rest now". When the work is finished, she has a feeling of being surrounded by happiness.
Greenhouse Girl , was painted in 1995, which was also a highly important year in the artist's creative career. In this year, he published his first collection of paintings and held his first solo exhibition at Blum & Poe Gallery in California, USA. Later that year, he also held his groundbreaking solo exhibition "In the Deepest Puddle" at SCAI The Bathhouse in Tokyo, Japan.
Since then, Yoshitomo Nara has gradually established himself as a highly respected living Japanese artist.The layered background in Greenhouse Girl highlights Nara's unique brushwork, using softer tones to create a sensual effect.
This painting technique was one that the artist gradually developed in the 1990s. When Nara Yoshitomo was living in Germany in the 1990s, the loneliness of being in a foreign land made him fall back into the loneliness of his childhood.
In order to seek relief, he began to explore the depth of his subconscious in his artistic creation, which resulted in a strong sense of alienation being presented in his classic portraits of sullen children.
Fever of Wisdom and Wisdom , In July 2020, the Hong Kong Spring Auction, is an extremely rare canvas painting series by Yoshitomo Nara in the auction market. The childhood pain that Nara explores in Chihui Fever covers everything and robs all other thoughts, as its collector recalls Nara’s interpretation of the work: “Pain is everything, nothing else. Other external world or environment.
" In Nara's moving portraits of childhood, the child's face is covered with a large canvas, squinting with peas, frowning slightly and pouting, looking out thoughtfully.Nara's exploration of childhood pain in Chihui Fever is incredibly rare in the world of art auctions. His moving portraits of children convey the deep emotions and thoughtfulness that come with experiencing pain.
In each painting, a child's face is covered with a large canvas, with only their eyes visible. The children seem to be deep in thought, squinting with peas, frowning slightly, and pouting. These paintings are a powerful reminder of the depth of feeling that children experience when they are in pain.
I'm Ready to Go Anywhere and I Can Disappear, is a lyric from Bob Dylan's ballad "The Tambourine Man." The narrator pleads with the "tambourine man" to play a tune, and under his spell, the singer embarks on a journey of a path poetic landscape "away from the twisted mad grief / yes, in the diamond glittering sky dance down.
" With a flick of a finger, the little girl in Nara's work dances in the eternal "under a sky of sparkling diamonds," while exclamation marks and striking graphic lines declare her certainty over Nara's childhood shadow.
The circular shape of "I'm Ready to Go Anywhere and I Can Disappear" is reminiscent of Yoshitomo Nara's saying that art "has no need for corners and corners". The material of ceramics also holds special significance for the artist, as the clay evokes his first experience of art in his childhood.Nara's work often features young girls and animals, who confront the viewer with an uncomplicated and direct gaze.
The artist chooses to work with ceramic because the material holds special significance for him, as it was the medium he was first introduced to art with as a child. The circular shape of "I'm Ready to Go Anywhere and I Can Disappear" is representative of Nara's belief that art "has no need for corners and corners".
Little Pilgrim (Sleepwalking Doll), is a pivotal turning point in the artist's long artistic career, symbolizing that the diversity of his artistic practice has surpassed its roots in painting, and consolidating the realization of sculpture and installation as a medium important position in its unique creation.
Comprised of five meticulously portrayed and delicate, eerie figures, each seemingly identical but dressed in different clothes, this surreal scene is precisely what Nara focuses on themes of sleep, consciousness, and the infinite imaginative possibilities of children.As charming independent sculptures, these figures oscillate between the two states of inner sleep and outer exploration, but a group of cute dolls powerfully embodies the kind of physical space in which we live. The intermediate state of the surreal.
Incarnations of innocence, these sleepwalkers symbolize the childlike curiosity that guides our consciousness from infancy to adulthood. Sculpturally smooth and delicately muted in tones, this group of works symbolises Nara's stylistic shift at the end of the decade, moving away from his fiery punk rock style and into a softer fairy tale reverie.
As soon as I step into the exhibition space of Yoshitomo Nara's paintings, I feel a sense of comfort and relaxation. Although many of the characters in his paintings (little girls) often appear sad or cynical, they also make me feel calm. It is as if the characters in the painting help us express and adjust the negative emotions deep in our hearts, and achieve peace in the process.