photo: KIOKU Keizo

A set of Drawings made for ”Yoshitomo Nara: Moonlight Serenade” (22 works)

ArtistNARA Yoshitomo
Material/ Techniquecolor pencil on paper (1 piece), pen on paper (21 pieces)
Size/ DurationH24×W31.7cm(1 piece)、H21×W29.7 cm(2 pieces)、H25.6×W36.3cm (17 pieces)、H29.7×W42cm(2 pieces)
Copyright Notice© Yoshitomo Nara
Year of acquisition/ donation2011
DescriptionBorn in Aomori, Japan in 1959. Lives and works in Tochigi.

Af ter completing a Master’s degree at Aichi Prefectural University of Fine Ar ts and Music, Nara Yoshitomo moved to Germany in 1988 and in 1993 completed the Meisterschüler program at Kunstakademie Düsseldorf. Basing himself in Cologne, he began receiving international acclaim for his paintings, drawings, three-dimensional works, and installations that feature sulky-looking children and animals. In 2000, Nara returned to Japan, where he has been based since. Aside from his exhibitions, he has been involved in an assortment of projects in other media, such as picture books, CD jackets, and product design, and also had a long-running collaborative relationship with artist TOYOSHIMA Hideki between 2003 and 2010. In recent years, he has also been producing sculptures in ceramic and bronze. In 2012, Nara had a large-scale solo exhibition at the Yokohama Museum of Art, the Aomori Museum of Art, and the Contemporary Art Museum, Kumamoto.

In "Lonely Moon / Voyage of the Moon", the entire dish-shaped support is imbued with a material quality in the form of an image of the moon, while the multiple layers of color give the image greater fluidity, as if it were a mental picture. The eyes, which have a calm expression, reflect the universe. "Dog-o-rama" consists of two projects: “Pup Patrol,” in which children in dog costumes wander around the museum, thereby expanding the world created by Nara; and “Pup Up the Dog,” in which participants create a seven-meter-long stuffed dog filled with old clothes and other material. "I will ROCK YOU! / Broken Heart Bench yngm:k version" is a piece Nara painted on a wall of the project room at this museum during his artist residency. While Nara created artwork in this room, Nara and graf media gm (now gm projects) used it as a platform to run a café and hold various music events, transforming time-space itself into an artwork entitled "Studio Café yngm:k." All of these works were created for “Yoshitomo Nara: Moonlight Serenade” (2006-2007), a solo exhibition conceived to take advantage of the ‘open’ nature of the museum. Nara's drawings from the planning stage of this exhibition reveal his ideas for creating artwork that makes the most of this open nature and the museum's spatial characteristics.