Yoshitomo Nara: Greetings From a Place in My Heart
奈良美智:來自內心的問候


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A few years ago in Basel, I loved the pure innocence of Yoshitomo Nara. Last year, in June 2013, I happened to be in New York to see his solo show at Pace, and I was enchanted by his milky flavoured pastel brushes. This time, as I entered the Dairy Art Centre in London and saw the cute big eyes of a short haired little girl with nothing but a blue background, I was moved by a conflicting feeling: as if they were my long lost friends, or somebody that lived inside me that was a stranger to me.

幾年前在巴塞爾看奈良美智,覺得娃娃們很傻很天真;去年剛好在紐約看到他的個展,已經開始在他的彩色牛奶味顏料裏遊離。今天在倫敦Dairy Art Center進門看到第一副淺藍背景,齊耳短發的大眼美智娃娃,有些感動,想哭的感覺。像是許久不見的朋友,也像是和自己過不去的自己。

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Throughout the galleries we are surrounded by oil paintings with different colourful backgrounds featuring unique little girls, with blonde, red and black hair and wide eyes. In some, their eyes are lit with different coloured fire, others have one little fang hiding between their lips. They each indulge in their own toys, ignoring each other as if they each have their own miseries, and do not know how to, or have the will to communicate to the world. Some of the girls reminded me of the little girls of Yayoi Kusama: red shoulder length hair, shiny big eyes, and all of them are doing nothing but displaying the stubborn ideas planted deep in their hearts.

簡單的彩色背景下那夢幻的金發、紅發、黑發的大眼娃娃,有的眼睛冒著不同顏色的火,有的嘴角有一顆小虎牙,各自玩著不同的玩具,不理睬對方。像是各自充滿著各自不滿,而不知如何也不願意訴說。有的讓我想到草間彌生心裏困在桎梏中不願長大的孩子:紅發齊耳,大眼放光,十分決絕的重復著心中的執念。

 

In the centre room of the gallery, stand bronze sculptures of different colour and sizes, magnifying the details of each small and subtle line of a face. The lines mix the reflection of the outside and inner world of the little girls, presenting their emotions directly to the viewer. In a small room there was one unique installation, a big white tea cup on top of a white saucer, with light blue tears inside the tea cup. Five toddlers are climbing inside; two of the toddlers are swimming in the tears, while three of them were floating on top of one another. They have their eyes closed, facing different directions in the room, as if they are the inner child of the Three Graces. Toddlers of pure white have their eyes naturally closed, tears dropping gently into the tea cup, only to be absorbed in their body, and to come out of their eye lid again. Almost like a repeating, sad song, showing that tears are unavoidable in the journey of growing up. The room is especially pure and clear with the interaction of light blue and pure white. When I first entered the room it had an aura of melancholy but after a while, a true serenity enveloped me.

展廳拐角處的大廳裏羅列著大小、顏色不一的巨型雕塑,讓孩子臉上表情中反映世界的那些微細紋路放大而直面觀者。一個特別的小屋裏以一個白色茶杯中用淺藍淚水盛著五個娃娃雕塑,兩個沉浸於淚水中,三個攀爬著自然地閉著雙眼,像是西方三美神內心的孩子。呈現出純白色自然微閉雙眼的娃娃三維形象。他們的淚水流入杯中、又進而被吸取從眼瞼流出。仿佛悲傷是自我循環的一首歌,亦似乎淚水是成長必然的過程。房間在淺藍與乳白間顯得格外純凈而清澈,乍一看是憐憫,而融於作品環境後又感到平靜。

 

Apart from new oil paintings and sculptures, the exhibition also shows a large retrospective collection of Yoshitomo Nara drawings from the ‘80s of different geographic locations with a timeline of the years. We can see many sketches and free drawing, showing little scenes from life as well as images from his dreams and imagination, and shades of politics.

展覽裏除了新的油畫、雕塑作品外,還羅列了奈良美智從80年代至今不同地域生活為時間軸的 的彩筆畫。我們在這裏可以看到他更加自由與隨意的創作,從生活裏的小點滴,到夢境與想象的景象,到稍有政治影子的作品。

Yoshitomo Nara spends a lot of time on every work, thinking and re-thinking, painting and re-painting. Although his artwork is carefully planned and executed, they are simple and powerful. Since the Japanese pop art movements in the 90s, the little girls and the dogs playing in their rooms, or playground, have not encountered a cultural or age gap.

奈良美智通常花很長時間在每一副作品上,思考,並塗上一層又一層的顏料;因此即便清新簡單的平面圖案上也散發厚而濃重的質感與穿透力。而從90年代日本波普運動至今,這些小女孩和小狗們在房間里或者是遊樂場里的景象,被不同年齡不同文化背景的觀眾所接受。

 

Find out more:

Yoshitomo Nara: Greetings from a Place in My Heart

Dairy Art Centre

3 October – 7 December 2014

www.dairyartcentre.org.uk