Japanese artist Yoshitomo Nara, famous for his paintings of small children and animals, has a new solo exhibition in Hong Kong called Life is Only One. It recently opened at the Asia Society, and the title of the show comes from Nara’s artwork of the same name. This painting features a child holding a skull and contemplating existence. Conceptually, this isn’t foreign territory for Nara. In an interview with Asia Society, he explains, “When I was a child, the word “life” itself, of course, was a foreign concept. After turning 50, however, and with the deaths of people close to me and with the recent earthquake, I started to think about life more realistically — the limits of life, and the importance of what one can accomplish during that time.”
The children seen in Nara’s works represent what’s inside his head. He describes to Asia Society:
The children were not something I had sought or thought out, but in trying to capture what was in front of my eyes, they appeared as I tried to capture what was formless in my mind. I think, therefore, that my world expands upon my past experiences and memories, and the speaker for my own mind appears as a child. But really, if anything, those children appeared very naturally on the picture plane.
Life is Only One is on view until July 26 of this year. (Via Hi Fructose)
Jake and Dinos Chapman, ‘In Our Dreams We Have Seen Another World’ , 2013 -White Cube Gallery.
Yesterday was Miami Art Basel 2013’s preview, and B/D was there to get the scoop on Basel’s most innovative and interesting works. Here we’ve picked out a few pieces that caught our eye. Hope you enjoy these as much as we did!
Jakes and Dinos Chapman’s diorama fuses sensitive religious themes with mass branding and symbols of the global fast food chain, McDonald’s. The rather crude, and disturbing maquette juxtaposes, or rather, finds parallels between what seems to be violent scenes of apocalypse and crucifixions, and the globalization of American fast food chains. The artwork exudes great hostility; it truly makes for an uncomfortable yet very entertaining, and satisfying viewing. The piece pinpoints and creates controversy, as it look at a global economy superpower through the eyes of uncensored, critical, and dry humor.
Evan Penny’s sculpture was probably one of my top personal highlights from Basel. ‘Female Stretch’ is strange and confusing to look at. The artist accomplishes a flat look out of a three-dimensional sculpture. Besides the bizarre proportions, which I hope you can appreciate through the photos, I can say that Penny’s craftsmanship shines quite brightly through the sculpture’s accuracy when it came to small details. Hair, eyelashes and skin textures are almost impressively realistic looking.