Yoshitomo Nara’s iconic works have been showcased in more than 40 solo exhibitions since 1984. His distinctive style took a change in direction following the devastating Fukushima earthquake and tsunami in 2011.
The disaster directly impacted the Aomori prefecture and Tohoku region where Nara grew up, and the scenes of the affected areas shown on TV made him feel powerless to paint and unable to create. Since then, he has instead immersed himself in making huge clay sculptures directly by hand, which became his rehabilitation in returning to art.
A year later, he started to paint again – and the resulting works feature a kindness and gentleness he never had before. Nara’s works now are not only portraits of rebellious anger, but also showcase a deep inner love.