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YNG Review
May 29, 2009, 10:57 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Here’s a review on one of the artworks that I saw at 21st Kanazawa, which I’d like to feature in my Newtown gallery.

Yoshitomo Nara + graf, A-Z Project

The Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art in Newcastle presents Yoshitomo Nara and graf’s A to Z Project. Nara, who was born in Hirosaki, Japan in 1959 and presently lives and works in Tokyo, is mostly known for his deceptive, innocent and childlike images. Since 2003 he has teamed up with graf, the Japanese creative design team, to work on the A to Z project, building small ‘huts’, as they call them, to fit within gallery and museum spaces in Japan and abroad. Nara and graf are interested in exploring the relationship between the lived in space and the individual. They recreate work spaces and the objects that may inspire and help their creative sensitivity. This installation includes three houses, with ramps connecting two of them, one with a dog house. Nara’s paintings are… strategically distributed within the spaces with a few billboards outside the houses. The third house, Castle of Baltic, was inspired by the Newcastle area and was created specifically for the Baltic exhibition. These small villages are built with recycled materials. In one of the rooms from the Big Seagull House, he has recreated his studio with a half finished painting, beer cans, the Baltic CD playlist he listened to during his time there with the CD playing in the background, among other paintings, furniture, garbage, etc. In addition there is special surprise! You are lead by a ramp to a separate room. You imagine this will be another little house but instead you are confronted by the huge sculpture, Puff Marshie, one of Nara’s characters, who represents an innocence but it is also intimidating because of its size. It is a place to explore, where you continuously find something new. The experience of stepping into this sort of naughty children’s village allows for a privileged and secret glimpse into a world that adults have forgotten, but at the same time makes it a wonderland for all, including children. The exhibition is running until the 26 October 2008.


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