yoshitomo nara: all things must pass, but nothing is lost / precious days around me, sometimes farther along, sometimes under my feet
"all things must pass, but nothing is lost / precious days around me, sometimes farther along, sometimes under my feet"
Pace/MacGill Gallery is honored to present yoshitomo nara: all things must pass, but nothing is lost / precious days around me, sometimes farther along, sometimes under my feet, a solo exhibition of photographs by Japanese artist Yoshitomo Nara. Showcasing a selection of color and black-and-white prints from 1983 to present day, the exhibition marks the New York debut of Nara's work in photography and will be on view from October 25, 2018 through January 12, 2019. The public is invited to attend an opening reception with the artist on Wednesday, October 24 from 6 to 8 pm on the 9th Floor of 32 East 57th Street.
Nara is internationally renowned for his distinctive paintings, sculptures, and drawings of single figures, but his near lifelong pursuit of photographic expression remains relatively unexplored. His interest in the medium originated at age 13 - when his parents gave him his first camera - and began informing his artistic practice a decade later while traveling as a student. Nara's 1983 photographs taken in Beijing and Taiyuan in Northern Shanxi, China are early visual commentaries on post-Mao social culture. Shot on color film but printed in black-and-white, these deftly captured observations document a society on the cusp of radical transformation through everyday scenes and candid portraits of ordinary citizens - subjects that Nara continues to pursue to this day.
Thirty-one years later, Nara's 2014 pilgrimage to Sakhalin, a remote island north of Japan where his farmer grandfather worked as a coal miner in the agricultural offseason, produced a deeply personal photographic appreciation of his heritage and homeland.
Presented as single images, at times in found-object frames, diptychs, multi-part pieces, and collages, Nara's photographs offer a window into his visual world. These vivid records of memories, moments, feelings, and experiences collectively comprise a distinctly personal narrative that reveals his aesthetic sensibility and thinking. Nara's unique vision of the everyday is perhaps best manifest in works from the SNS series, where he creates tabletop installations from arrangements of over 50 prints. The subjects in which Nara repeatedly finds meaning - the innocent faces of children, family members composed together, resting animals, tranquil landscapes, deteriorating architecture, and symbols of peace - and his careful manner of juxtaposing and sequencing them, disclose a deep-seated reverence for his native environment, its people, and its culture. Moreover, Nara's interior studio scenes shed light on his own creative process and the literary, musical, and artistic influences that markedly inform his work. In inviting viewers to contemplate life from his own perspective, Nara's photographs ultimately promote an expanded awareness and appreciation of humanity's fascinating differences and inspiring similarities.
Yoshitomo Nara (b. 1959, Hirosaki, Aomori, Japan) graduated from Aichi University of the Arts, Japan with a Master's degree in 1987, completing further studies at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, Germany. He resided in Cologne until 2000, when he returned to Japan. Since the mid-1990s, Nara has exhibited extensively around the world, working with a range of institutions, from small independent art spaces to internationally acclaimed galleries and museums. Recent exhibitions include Yoshitomo Nara: a bit like you and me ..., Yokohama Museum of Art, Kanagawa (traveled to Aomori Museum of Art, Aomori and Contemporary Art Museum, Kumamoto, 2012-2013); Life is Only One: Yoshitomo Nara, Asia Society, Hong Kong (2015); Yoshitomo Nara: For Better or Worse: Works 1987–2017, Toyota Municipal Museum of Art, Aichi (2017); Yoshitomo Nara: Will the Circle Be Unbroken, Daikanyama Hillside Plaza, Tokyo (2017); and Yoshitomo Nara: Ceramic Works and ..., Pace Gallery, Hong Kong (2018). Yoshitomo Nara is currently on view at N's Yard in Nasushiobara City, Japan and a presentation of Your Dog is forthcoming from the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco.
His work is held in important public and private collections worldwide, including The Art Institute of Chicago; British Museum, London; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; and Toyota Municipal Museum of Art, Aichi.
Nara lives and works in Japan.