Thursday, April 2, 2015

Yoshitomo Nara at Hong Kong Asia Society

On the evening of 6th March I attended an even that featured a talk between the Japanese artist Yoshitomo Nara and curator Fumio Nanjo at Hong Kong's Asia Society, close to the British Council / Consulate Building in Admiralty.
The talk was arranged to coincide with Nara's exhibition at the Asia Society 'Life is only one' (he also has another exhibition running at the Pace Gallery).

The press release for the talk stated that Nara and Nanjo would discuss the curatorial approach of the exhibition and about how the works in the exhibition were chosen.
However, the talk seemed to take a different direction. Nara showed photographic slides of his frequent trips overseas and he narrated these journeys in a matter-of-fact way. He often seemed to wonder why people were interested in his photos but he was encouraged to keep showing them by Nanjo. The informality and meandering nature of the talk allowed the audience to gain an introduction to Nara's personality.

For me, the most interesting aspect of the talk was when Nara showed photos taken at intervals during his personal painting process. He seemed to begin by covering the surface of the painting with large vividly-coloured circles that he then overplayed with lighter layers of paint. The circles can be seen beneath the outer layers of paint, in some of his works they can easily be seen, in others less so.

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