Friday, April 10, 2009

Let's move on.

Imagine a Venn diagram of 3 sets with set A representing Manga, set B the art world, and set C international phenomena. Yoshitomo Nara would sit in that little anus of intersection.

Most people around me have no idea who he is. But many times after I show them on screen/paper they'd always let out a 'ah, that one!'. That actually means his work has penetrated to a deeper subconscious level.

He likes to exhibit his work in a small hut. The documentary 'Travelling with Yoshitomo Nara' tells the journey of his biggest 'A to Z' exhibition, where he and a team built 26 houses to form a new 'village' filled with all his work. And of course, in a true artist sense, they burnt the village towards the end of the exhibition.

You'd think as an international superstar artist he'd be leading a high rolling life. Yet throughout the documentary you see him in his worn out jeans, checking in tiny motels in Korea and straps a 'good morning' towel on his forehead while painting. Either he's poured all his money back to his work, or it's just make believe.

If you want to get familiar with Nara, this documentary would make a good starting point.