NARA Yoshitomo

[1959 - ]

Girl on the Boat [1994]

  • paint on wood
  • ©NARA Yoshitomo, 2018

[Audio Guide]

With a large head compared to the thin neck and limbs, and a small oblong boat, this works has an extremely odd balance. When putting this work on the floor it seems as though it will tip over, making the handler quite nervous.     Where is this young girl going on this boat that appears to be sinking? She is looking in front of her, not at her future, but at the prow of the ship. The girl’s face has traces of small cracks and the marks of the chisel, which gives the sense of a lonely person who is easily wounded. Her downcast eyes appear to be focused intently on something.     Since the end of 1980s, Yoshitomo Nara has made small, fragile looking works, placing importance on hidden emotions. Beginning with easily available materials, he has continued to make works with a DIY, punk rock spirit. This work as also made from discarded wood.

Dream Time [1988]

  • acrylic on canvas
  • ©NARA Yoshitomo, 2018

[Audio Guide]

The inscription, “Such a long way from home” has been written in the bottom part of the picture. There is a burning house on the distant curve of the horizon, and a human figure is rising out from what appears to be a large, box-shaped house in the foreground. In one hand he (or she) holds a long staff with a small flame at the tip. This directly corresponds with the moon in the right of the painting, as though illuminating the darkness surrounding a rotating picture surface. The figure, the houses, a heavenly body, and the paintbrush-like torch are all elements found in subsequent paintings by Nara. Nara studied at the Aichi Prefectural University of the Arts and painted this work right at the time when he was moving to Düsseldorf, Germany. While retaining a connection to his later paintings, since this painting was made at a time when he was stepping into a new world it retains a sense of both anxiety and courage.


Collection Audio Guide