Born in 1959, Nara was raised in post-World War II Japan, an era defined by aggressive economic development and an influx of pop culture influences from the West, including the animation of Walt Disney and Warner Bros. While many of his contemporaries were inundated by pop components of a re- newed Japanese culture, Nara was a child of working parents, a “latchkey kid”, who lived in the country and spent time with mainly his imagination, comic books, and family pets to keep him company. As Nara often remarks, for him manga and anime are not stylistic trends or even consciously chosen references, but simply one among numerous early influences. He explains, “People say you have a big influence from Japanese animation. No, I have a big influence from my childhood.”Certainly American cartoons and Japanese comics and animated television shows such as Gigantor and Speed Racer were part of his childhood, but equally influential were the landscape of the Japanese countryside, the isolation it imposed, and
the imagination if fostered.
Reproduced from an essay by Kristin Chambers for the exhibition catalog, “Yoshitomo Nara: Nothing Ever Happens”, published by the Museum of Con- temporary Art Cleveland, 2003
Selected Biography -
Yoshitomo Nara: After all I'm cosmic dust, Pace Gallery, 68 Park Place, East Hampton, New York, July 3–19, 2020. Traveled to: Pace Gallery, 1st Floor, 540 West 25th Street, New York, September 17–October 24, 2020.
Yoshitomo Nara, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, 2020 (postponed during the COVID-19 pandemic).
Yoshitomo Nara: Drawings – Last 31 Years, Château La Coste, Le Puy-Sainte-Réparade, France, August 23–November 22, 2019.
En/trance: Yoshitomo Nara, Japan Society, New York, February 26, 2019–February 6, 2020.
Yoshitomo Nara, N’s Yard, Nasushiobara City, Tochigi Prefecture, Japan, 2018.
Yoshitomo Nara: Puppy Love, Asian Art Museum, San Francisco, opened December 4, 2018.
Yoshitomo Nara: all things must pass, but nothing is lost/precious days around me, sometimes farther along, sometimes under my feet, Pace/MacGill Gallery, New York, October 25, 2018–January 12, 2019.
Yoshitomo Nara: Drawings 1988–2018, Last 30 Years, Kaikai Kiki Gallery, Tokyo, September 21–October 18, 2018. (Brochure)
Yoshitomo Nara: Sixteen springs and sixteen summers gone—Take your time, it won’t be long now, Taka Ishii Gallery Photography / Film, Tokyo, July 7–August 10, 2018. (Catalogue)
Yoshitomo Nara: Ceramic Works and…, Pace Gallery, 12/F H Queen’s, 80 Queen’s Road Central, Hong Kong, March 27–May 12, 2018. (Catalogue)
Yoshitomo Nara: Drawings: 1988–2018, Last 30 Years, Kaikai Kiki Gallery, Tokyo, February 9–March 8, 2018.
Yoshitomo Nara: Will the Circle Be Unbroken, Daikanyama Hillside Plaza, Tokyo, September 29–October 1, 2017. (Catalogue)
Yoshitomo Nara: For Better or Worse: Works 1987–2017, Toyota Municipal Museum of Art, Aichi, July 15–September 24, 2017. (Catalogue)
Yoshitomo Nara: Thinker, Pace Gallery, 510 West 25th Street, New York, March 31–April 29, 2017. (Catalogue)
Yoshitomo Nara: New Works, Stephen Friedman Gallery, London, April 28–June 1, 2016. (Catalogue)
Yoshitomo Nara: Shallow Puddles, Blum & Poe, Tokyo, October 3–November 14, 2015. (Catalogue)
Yoshitomo Nara, Johnen Galerie, Berlin, September 18–October 24, 2015.
Yoshitomo Nara: “stars”, Pace Hong Kong, 15C Entertainment Building, 30 Queens Road Central, March 13–April 25, 2015. (Catalogue)
Life is Only One: Yoshitomo Nara, Asia Society, Hong Kong, March 6–July 26, 2015.
Yoshitomo Nara: Greetings from a Place in My Heart, Dairy Art Centre, London, October 3–December 14, 2014.
Yoshitomo Nara, Blum & Poe, Los Angeles, March 1–April 12, 2014. (Catalogue)
Yoshitomo Nara, Pace Gallery, 534 West 25th Street, New York, May 10–June 29, 2013. (Catalogue)
Yoshitomo Nara: The Little Little House in The Blue Woods, Towada Art Center, Aomori, September 22, 2012–January 14, 2013.
Yoshitomo Nara: a bit like you and me…, Yokohama Museum of Art, Kanagawa, July 14–September 23, 2012. Traveled to: Aomori Museum of Art, October 6, 2012–January 14, 2013; Contemporary Art Museum, Kumamoto, January 26–April 14, 2013. (Catalogue)
Print Works, Roppongi Hills Art & Design Store Gallery, Tokyo, February 17–March 21, 2011.
Yoshitomo Nara: New Editions, Pace Prints, New York, October 27–December 4, 2010.
Yoshitomo Nara: Nobody's Fool, Asia Society Museum, New York, September 9, 2010–January 2, 2010. (Catalogue)
Ceramic Works, Tomio Koyama Gallery, Tokyo, May 15–June 19, 2010. (Catalogue)
The Crated Rooms in Iceland: Yoshitomo Nara + YNG, The Reykjavik Art Museum, September 17, 2009–January 3, 2010. (Catalogue)
Yoshitomo Nara, Marianne Boesky Gallery, New York, February 28–March 28, 2009.
Yoshitomo Nara and Installation by YNG, Blum & Poe, Los Angeles, December 20, 2008–February 7, 2009
Yoshitomo Nara + graf, Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Newcastle, June 14–October 26, 2008.
Yoshitomo Nara, Galerie Meyer Kainer, Vienna, April 26–June 26, 2008.
Yoshitomo Nara, Galerie Zink Munich, Munich, March 14–May 3, 2008.
Yoshitomo Nara, Johnen + Schoettle, Cologne, September 29–October 31, 2007.
Yoshitomo Nara + graf: Torre de Málaga, Centro de Arte Contemporáneo de Málaga, September 21, 2007–January 6, 2008. (Catalogue)
Yoshitomo Nara + graf, GEM, Museum of Contemporary Art, The Hague, June 2–October 28, 2007.
Yoshitomo Nara + graf: Berlin Baracke, Galerie Zink Berlin, February 10–April 21, 2007.
Solo Exhibitions 2006 Stephen Friedman Gallery, London
2005 Marianne Boesky Gallery, New York 2004 Blum and Poe, Los Angeles
Galerie Meyer Kainer, Vienna
“From the Depth of My Drawer”, The Hara Museum, Tokyo [traveling exhibition in Japan and Korea: Kanaz Forest of Creation, Fukui; Yonago City Museum of Art, Tottori (2005); Yoshii Brick Brewhouse,
Hirosaki; Rodin Gallery, Seoul, Korea]
“Shadow Puddles”, graf media gm, Osaka
“Over the Rainbow”, Pinakothek der Moderne Kunst, Munich “Somewhere, collaboration with Hiroshi Sugito”, Galerie Zink & Geg-
“Nowhere Land”, Johnen + Schoettle, Cologne
2003 “Yoshitomo Nara,” Cleveland Center for Contemporary Art, Cleveland (traveled to Institute of Contemporary Art Philadelphia, Contemporary Art Mu- seum St. Louis)
2001 “Nara Yoshitomo: in those days,” Hakutosha, Nagoya,
“I Don’t Mind, If You Forget Me,” Yokohama Museum of Art, Yoko- hama, Japan (traveled to Hiroshima Museum of Contemporary Art, Ashiya City Museum of Art, Asahikawa Prefectural Museum of Art, Aomori Museum of Art),
2000 “Lullaby Supermarket,” Santa Monica Museum of Art, Santa Monica, CA
“Walk on,” Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Chicago, IL
Yoshitomo Nara, PupCup, 2002 Open edtition, stamp signed, Injection molded plastic,
9.5 “ h x 8” w x 8” in diameter
/ 24cm h x 19cm w x 19cm.
Item no. 10062
Too Young to Die
Yoshitomo Nara “Too Young To Die” Ashtray, 2002, Open edition, stamp signed, porcelain,
10” in diameter x 1 1/4 in h
1 1/4 in h / 25.4cm in diameter x 3.18cm h. Item no. 10060
Yoshimtomo Nara, Little Wanderer, 2002,
Open edition, stamp signed, injection molded plastic,
11” h x 6.5” w x 6.5” diameter / 28cm h x 16.5cm w x 16.5cm. Item no. 10082