Oct. 6, 2012– Jan. 14, 2013


image:a bit like you and me...
Unforgettable at first sight. Such describes the children and animals that NARA Yoshitomo depicts. They have a variety of expressions- some look defiant and aggressive while others seem melancholic or as if in contemplation. Behind their cute appearance lies the suggestion of a strong will and inexplicable feelings, reminding us of the depth of human psychology in which opposite emotions can coexist, and stimulating our creative imagination. Having captivated audiences all over the world with various works that include paintings, drawings and large-scale installations, Nara now returns to his roots and opens the door to a new world of his work with the creation of hand-crafted sculptures whose surfaces bare the artist’s own finger imprints.

The title of the exhibition, “a bit like you and me...” was taken from a song by the Beatles, “Nowhereman,” expressing the relationship between the artist and his works and between his works and the viewer.

The works I create are no longer self-portraits, rather they are someone more like my child or somebody else’s child or friend.It is my hope that they will belong to the audience, or eventually even hold a place within the history of art; even after my body is perished, and as long as human beings exist.

----------------From NARA Yoshitomo’s statement

In a world that is continuously changing on a multitude of levels, something that resonates within people’s hearts, survives for a long time, and is handed down over generations can be described as a universal existence that is “a bit like you and me.” Nara’s works thus far presented as the artist’s alter ego will come face to face with the viewer as a more independent presence, establishing an enduring and empathetic connection with the audience, which is something that art has fundamentally thrived to do.

This exhibition consists of all new works including paintings, drawings, and a large sculpture made of bronze, a material Nara worked with for the first time.

Artist’s Biography

NARA Yoshitomo (born in Hirosaki, Aomori 1959) is one of the best-known artists of Japanese contemporary art. NARA Yoshitomo studied at Musashino Art University and Aichi Prefectural University of Fine Arts and Music. In 1988 he went to Germany, where he studied at the Staatliche Kunstakademie, Düsseldorf, until 1993, under the guidance of A.R. Penck, one of Germany’s most prominent artists today. He continued to make Germany his base until 2000, when solo exhibitions of his works were held at major museums including the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, and the Santa Monica Museum of Art. After 2000, his first major solo exhibition toured in Japan, which is organized by Yokohama Museum of Art in 2001 to 2002. Since 2001, he started collaborative project “AtoZ,” with graf, which finally realized a huge scale exhibition in his hometown, Hirosaki, in 2006. His works were also exhibited in numerous group exhibitions or triennials such as Yokohama Triennale in 2005 or Asia Pacific Triennale in 2010.


July 14 (preview on 13) – September 23, 2012, Yokohama Museum of Art.
October 6, 2012 – January 14, 2013, Aomori Museum of Art.
January 26 – April 14, 2013, Contemporary Art Museum Kumamoto.
Singapore Art Museum, Singapore and other venues in Asia and Pacific regions will be followed.


The exhibition is curated by KIMURA Eriko, associate curator of Yokohama Museum of Art in Yokohama city, Japan and Co-curated by TAKAHASHI Shigemi, curator of Aomori Museum of Art and TOMISAWA Haruko Assistant Curator at Contemporary Art Museum, Kumamoto.


Aomori Museum of Art

Address 185 Chikano, Yasuta, Aomori, Aomori, 038-0021, Japan
TEL +81 (0) 17-783-3000
E-mail bijutsukan@pref.aomori.lg.jp
Access (JR) 20 minutes by car from JR Aomori Station.
(Aomori Municipal bus.) 20 min. by bus bound for "MENKYO-CENTER" from JR Aomori Station. Get off the bus at the stop “Kenritsu-bijutsukan-mae."
(Airport) 20 minutes by car from the Aomori Airport.
(Highway) 5 minutes by car from the Tohoku Expressway Aomori Interchange.