Yoshitomo Nara “Sixteen springs and sixteen summers gone—Take your time, it won’t be long now”

Dates: Jul 7 – Aug 10, 2018
Location: Taka Ishii Gallery Photography / Film
Opening reception: Saturday, Jul 7, 18:00 – 20:00

Taka Ishii Gallery Photography / Film is pleased to present “Sixteen springs and sixteen summers gone―Take your time, it won’t be long now,” a solo exhibition of works by Yoshitomo Nara from July 7 to August 10. Nara has been consistently and intuitively shooting photographs since his teens, before he aspired to become an artist. This exhibition, his first with Taka Ishii Gallery, will feature approximately 200 photographs shot between 2014 and 2018.

When I graduated university, and started to think that I was going to keep painting,
When I moved by myself to Germany and felt kind of lonely,
When I felt like I had become all alone,
I had that old familiar camera in my hands again.
I had that camera I got in middle school in my hands again.
Being alone is what makes me pick up my camera.

Yoshitomo Nara, 2017
Excerpted from the artist statement written for the exhibition “Will the Circle Be Unbroken”

Shooting to simply note and document the value of easily overlooked scenes and lives, Nara has continuously produced photographs without any intent to exhibit them. For him, photography has been a way to record and sharpen his sensibility. The accumulation of those memories and records capture countless moments scattered across the seasons and are closely tied to the artist’s internal dialogues and reflections carried out while he produces artworks. We can trace the artist’s perspective and trajectories in the variety of climates, histories, landscapes, lives, peoples, and types of music captured as pure images in the photographs.

The subjects shot intuitively using the photographic device at closest hand, from film to digital cameras, and to the iPhone, are all treated equally and connect unconsciously to suggest a unique worldview. The memory that spreads as a primary landscape behind the irretrievable past, and the infantile ego and yearning for a private world, are processed through a cultivated sensibility and connected to a search for a new homeland. Nara’s gaze seems to be directed at the way private experience allows the individual to travel back in time and space, and circle back to the primordial existence of the world. 

A catalogue will be published in conjunction with the exhibition.
【Publication details】
Yoshitomo Nara
days 2014-2018: Sixteen springs and sixteen summers gone―Take your time, it won’t be long now
Published by Taka Ishii Gallery Photography / Film (2018)
Retail price: ¥5,000- (tax excl.)
Soft cover, total 204 pages, 180 illustrations, H19 x W19 cm
Essay by Shigemi Takahashi (English and Japanese)
Please contact the gallery for further information.

Yoshitomo Nara was born in 1959 in Hirosaki, Aomori. He completed his Master degree at Aichi Prefectural University of Art and Music in 1987. He enrolled in the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, Germany in 1988, and continued to work in Cologne after graduating. Since returning to Japan in 2000, he has continued to show his works internationally. Recent exhibitions include “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 Center, Hong Kong (2015); “Yoshitomo Nara for better or worse Works: 1987-2017,” Toyota Municipal Museum of Art, Aichi (2017). He has also published the books the good, the bad, the average… and unique (Little More, 2003) and Yoshitomo Nara Photo Book 2003-2012 (Kodansha, 2012), which collect his photographs of his life and travels. In 2017, a solo exhibition of photographic works “Will the Circle Be Unbroken” was held at the Daikanyama Hillside Plaza, Tokyo.

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