NOSTALGIA AND FANTASY “IMAGINATION AND ITS ORIGINS IN CONTEMPORARY ART”

HAPPENINGText: Namie Kuwada

This summer, “Nostalgia and Fantasy: Imagination and Its Origins in Contemporary Art” exhibition by 10 pairs of Japanese contemporary artists is held at the National Museum of Art, Osaka. Each artist has exhibited their works with the keywords, “nostalgia” and “fantasy,” in individual spaces.

The featured artists are Yokoo Tadanori, Kitatsuji Yoshihisa, Karasawa Hitoshi, Tanada Koji, Yodogawa Technique, Suto Yukiko, Yamamoto Keisuke, Konishi Toshiyuki, Kobashi Yosuke, and Hashizume Sai.

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Konishi Toshiyuki’s work “No Titled”, 2007, © Hirohisa Saito, Courtesy of ARATANIURANO Photo: Keizo Kinooku (All rights reserved)

Although respective artists have displayed works that contain the theme of this exhibition, those who particularly left an impression on me were Konishi Toshiyuki and Suto Yukiko. Works by both authors truly fit the keyword of the exhibition so that they strongly remain in my heart.

Konishi Toshiyuki’s works allow us to recall mysterious emotions combining nostalgia, ambiguity, and anxiety, which is as if one vaguely remembers a snapshot with family that is in anyone’s memory or as if one feels the memory was not his/hers. Konishi’s paintings make me wonder how many individuals have the image that he depicted in common in their memories.

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Suto Yukiko’s work “Pot and House – Moon”, 2008, © Gallery EVE, Courtesy of Take Ninagawa (All rights reserved)

Suto Yukiko carefully portrays landscapes with a pencil, one like we could encounter when walking in a back alley even now. In her paintings, there are everyday scenes cut out that anyone sees such as houses or housing estates with plants around. The perspective of buildings in Suto’s paitings is unique. This unique perspective further highlights her works, which allows them to be separated from mere landscape paintings. Moreover, as for plants, very normal vegetation including weeds, both nearby and far leaves are drawn one by one with the same pen pressure, so it looks like small happiness that we fail to see in everyday life is carefully portrayed.

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Yamamoto Keisuke’s work “Shell”, 2012, © Artist, Courtesy of Tomio Koyama Gallery (All rights reserved)

Nostalgia and Fantasy: Imagination and Its Origins in Contemporary Art Exhibition
Date: May 27 – September 15, 2014
Opening Hours: 10:00-17:00 (till 19:00 on Fridays/Admission allowed until 30 minutes before closing)
Closed on Mondays
Place: The National Museum of Art, Osaka
Address: 4-2-55 Nakanoshima, Kita-ku, Osaka
Tel: 06-6447-4680
http://www.nmao.go.jp

Text: Namie Kuwada
Translation: Ayana Ishiyama

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