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Yoshitomo Nara is the contemporary Japanese artist world-famous for his emotionally expressive figures and faces. Sometimes happy and playful, other times rebellious and cross, Nara’s captivating works reconnect us with the raw emotions of youth.
Creating from the 1980s to the present day, Yoshitomo Nara is associated with other famous Japanese artists like Yayoi Kusama and Takashi Murakami. Nara’s artworks reflect the Superflat and Pop Art movements, and this fusion of Japanese and Western culture is evident in his work. But Nara is not to be simply boxed in with other artists from Japan – his depiction of childhood and habit of working in isolation tell a unique story about the introspective imagination and the creative source of memory.
Yoshitomo Nara artworks and sculptures show an acute sensibility to a sometimes hostile world, and offer gentle forms of resistance. The Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami of 2011 imbued his work with presence, stillness and temporality. Works such as “No War” and “Stop the Bombs” channel 1960s protest and counterculture. Whilst some of Nara’s works are politically conscious, much of his work exists to simply put a smile on our faces. The sculpture Puff Marshie comes to mind, which you can find in the Moco Garden of Amsterdam’s Museumplein!