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Havana Biennial 2019: Constructing the Possible Ocula Report Havana Biennial 2019: Constructing the Possible 17 Apr 2019 : Federica Bueti for Ocula

I first visited Havana in November 2016, a few days after Fidel Castro died, and just under a year before Hurricane Irma hit Cuba in September 2017. Since then, much has changed, including the hand-painted signs that punctuate the journey from the airport to the city centre, which today do not celebrate the revolution so much as the 'Unidad y...

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Andrew Stahl and Guo Xiaohui Ocula Conversation Andrew Stahl and Guo Xiaohui

The exhibition Beyond Boundaries at Somerset House in London (12 March–2 April 2019) marked the historic contributions of the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing (CAFA) and the Slade School of Fine Art, University College London, on the occasion of their 100th and 150th anniversaries, respectively. Spread across several rooms of Somerset House's...

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The National 2019: New Australian Art Ocula Report The National 2019: New Australian Art 13 Apr 2019 : Elyse Goldfinch for Ocula

The National 2019: New Australian Art features work by 70 contemporary Australia-based artists split across three venues: the Art Gallery of New South Wales (AGNSW), Carriageworks, and the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA) (29 March–21 July 2019), as curated by Isobel Parker Philip, curator of photographs at AGNSW; Daniel Mudie Cunningham,...

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Yoshitomo Nara

b. 1959, Japan

Nara is one of the leading artists of Japan’s influential Neo Pop movement and is best known for his depictions of simultaneously cute and devilish children and animals. Informed by elements of popular culture ranging from manga and anime to punk rock, Nara fuses Japanese visual traditions and Western Modernism to create adorable but menacing characters that possess a startling emotional intensity.

In the fall of 2010, the Asia Society presented Yoshitomo Nara: Nobody’s Fool, the first major New York exhibition of his work, featuring more than one hundred works spanning his early career in the 1980s to his most recent paintings, drawings, sculptures, ceramics, and large-scale installations.

After receiving a BFA and MFA from the Aichi Prefectural University of Fine Arts and Music, in 1988 Nara moved to Germany and enrolled at Kunstakademie Düsseldorf. In 1993 he completed his advanced degree under the German artist, A. R. Penck. In 1998 Nara accepted an invitation to serve as Guest Professor for a graduate course in painting at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Nara returned to Tokyo from Germany in 2000 and since 2005, he has been based in Tochigi Prefecture, Japan. Nara’s first solo exhibition in a public museum, I Don’t Mind If You Forget Me, Yokohama Museum of Art, Yokohama, Japan (2001), resulted in a massive fan following for Nara.

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Featured Artworks

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When You Feel So Sad by Yoshitomo Nara contemporary artwork Yoshitomo NaraWhen You Feel So Sad, 2012 Bronze
162.2 x 90.2 x 90.2 cm
Pace Gallery
TAIWAN by Yoshitomo Nara contemporary artwork Yoshitomo NaraTAIWAN, 2016/2018 Pigment print
Taka Ishii Gallery
days 2014-2018 by Yoshitomo Nara contemporary artwork Yoshitomo Naradays 2014-2018, 2018 55 pigment prints, wooden table
180 x 90 x 76.5 cm
Taka Ishii Gallery
SAKHALIN by Yoshitomo Nara contemporary artwork Yoshitomo NaraSAKHALIN, 2014 Pigment print
Taka Ishii Gallery
TAIWAN by Yoshitomo Nara contemporary artwork Yoshitomo NaraTAIWAN, 2016 Pigment print
Taka Ishii Gallery
Otsuka, Tokyo, 2016 by Yoshitomo Nara contemporary artwork Yoshitomo NaraOtsuka, Tokyo, 2016, 2018 C-print
16 x 16 cm
Taka Ishii Gallery
Shallow Puddles 2006 by Yoshitomo Nara contemporary artwork Yoshitomo NaraShallow Puddles 2006, 2006 Acrylic on cotton, mounted on fibre reinforced plastic
95.09 x 14.92 cm
Blum & Poe
Shallow Puddles 2006 by Yoshitomo Nara contemporary artwork Yoshitomo NaraShallow Puddles 2006, 2006 Acrylic on cotton, mounted on fibre reinforced plastic
95.09 x 14.92 cm
Blum & Poe

Recent Exhibitions

Contemporary art exhibition, Yoshitomo Nara, Sixteen springs and sixteen summers gone—Take your time, it won’t be long now at Taka Ishii Gallery, Tokyo
Closed
7 July–10 August 2018 Yoshitomo Nara Sixteen springs and sixteen summers gone—Take your time, it won’t be long now Taka Ishii Gallery, Photography / Film, Tokyo
Contemporary art exhibition, Yoshitomo Nara, Shallow Puddles at Blum & Poe, Tokyo
Closed
2 October–14 November 2015 Yoshitomo Nara Shallow Puddles Blum & Poe, Tokyo
Contemporary art exhibition, Yoshitomo Nara, Stars at Pace Gallery, Hong Kong
Closed
13 March–25 April 2015 Yoshitomo Nara Stars Pace Gallery, H Queen's, Hong Kong

Represented By

In Ocula Magazine

Yoshitomo Nara Ocula Conversation Yoshitomo Nara Artist, Japan

In Hong Kong, during April, to receive one of three prestigious Asia Arts Game Changer awards from the Asia Society, Yoshitomo Nara spoke to Ocula about his work, and how he finds the solitude he needs to create, by living in the small and distant city of Aomori, in northern Japan.Born in 1959, Nara studied at the Aichi Prefectural...

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In Related Press

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Hong Kong's Art Central Fair Won't Shy Away From Controversial Commentary Related Press Hong Kong's Art Central Fair Won't Shy Away From Controversial Commentary Forbes : 28 February 2018

Donald Trump will make an appearance of sorts at this year’s Art Central fair in Hong Kong. Visitors will find him in a 1930s-style living room hidden among the gallery booths filled with abstract paintings and polished sculptures. When people enter the homely space, they'll be asked to sit down, make themselves comfortable and turn on the vintage...

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Highlights from the seventh edition of Art Stage Singapore Related Press Highlights from the seventh edition of Art Stage Singapore The National : 18 January 2017

‘Contemporary art is not a decoration, it is a statement. It is a wonderful ­seismograph of our societies and realities.'These words were part of the opening speech given last week by founder Lorenzo Rudolf at the seventh edition of Art Stage Singapore in the South-east Asian island city.Rudolf, from Switzerland, has made it his mission to...

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Yoshitomo Nara comes to Stephen Friedman Gallery and Waterloo Bridge Related Press Yoshitomo Nara comes to Stephen Friedman Gallery and Waterloo Bridge Blouin Art Info : 6 May 2016

Japanese artist Yoshitomo Nara has brought his paintings of adorable yet angry childlike characters to London. An exhibition at Stephen Friedman Gallery coincides with one of Nara’s largest commissions being shown outside on the South Bank. 

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Anatomy of an artwork: The Butterbur Leaf Related Press Anatomy of an artwork: The Butterbur Leaf The Guardian : 1 May 2016

The superflat movement is attributed to both Nara and Takashi Murakami, another celebrated Japanese artist. Murakami satirises the shallowness of pop culture, while Nara goes further by also profiling the sense of individual alienation it generates.

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