Asia Society Museum Presents Work by Japanese Artist Yoshitomo Nara

Exhibition: Yoshitomo Nara: Nobody’s Fool – September 9, 2010 through January 2, 2011 at Asia Society Museum, 725 Park Avenue at 70th Street, New York.

This fall, Asia Society devotes its entire museum space to a major exhibition of Japanese artist Yoshitomo Nara, one of the most influential Neo Pop artists working today.

Yoshitomo Nara. White Riot, 1995. Acrylic on cotton. H. 39 3/8 x W. 47 1/4 in. (100 x 120 cm). Aomori Museum of Art, 2597. Image courtesy of the artist

More than one hundred works including drawings, paintings, sculptures, and installation works—created over the last two decades and many of which have never been exhibited in the United States—will emphasize the relationship of Nara’s art to rock and punk music, an ongoing source of inspiration and prevailing reference point in his work.

Born in 1959 in Japan, where he presently lives and works, Nara is internationally recognized for his work, which has inspired an enormous cult following among youth in Japan and throughout Asia.

“For the first time in Asia Society’s history, the entire Museum will be devoted to the work of one contemporary artist,” notes Asia Society Museum Director Melissa Chiu, who cocurated the exhibition with the Museum’s Associate Curator Miwako Tezuka. “We think this is fitting, given Nara’s considerable body of work, often associated with manga and the Japanese Pop movement of the 1990s,” Chiu says. “Yoshitomo Nara: Nobody’s Fool aims to shed new light on the artist’s practice, focusing on the pervasive influence of rock and punk music on Nara, through the exhibition’s content, thematic focus, and unique installations.”

Yoshitomo Nara: Nobody’s Fool is accompanied by a fully illustrated 271-page catalogue including contributions from the curators and leading contemporary art critics Midori Matsui and Michael Wilson, an extensive interview with Nara, and an essay by the artist’s long-time installation design collaborator Hideki Toyoshima. Published by Asia Society Museum in association with Abrams, New York, the book also includes select English translations of Nara Voice, the artist’s popular former blog.

Yoshitomo Nara Sculptures on Park Avenue
Coinciding with Yoshitomo Nara: Nobody’s Fool, Art Production Fund, in association with Asia Society, presents two large outdoor sculptures on Park Avenue. Celebrating the two New York City locations where Nara’s work will be on view, the sculptures will be placed on the median near the entrances to Asia Society and Park Avenue Armory like komainu, mythical lion-like statues commonly placed as guardians at the entrance to Japanese shrines. Nara, who often uses dogs and children as subjects in his work, uniquely combines the two for White Ghost. The sculptures are on view from late August through November. For more information, visit www.artproductionfund.org.

About Asia Society Museum and Contemporary Asian Art
In the early 1990s, the Asia Society Museum was one of the first U.S. museums to establish an ongoing program of contemporary Asian art exhibitions. These exhibitions include Traditions/Tensions: Contemporary Art in Asia (1996); Inside Out: New Chinese Art (1998); Edge of Desire: Recent Art in India (2005); and Hanging Fire: Contemporary Art from Pakistan (2009). In addition, the Asia Society Museum was the first U.S. museum to organize solo shows of now widely recognized artists Montien Boonma, Cai Guo-Qiang, Dinh Q. Lê, Yuken Teruya, and Zhang Huan.

Asia Society and Museum is located at 725 Park Avenue (at 70th Street), New York City. The Museum is open Tuesday through Sunday from 11:00 A.M–6:00 P.M. and Friday from 11:00 A.M–9:00 p.m. Closed on Mondays and major holidays. General admission is $10, seniors $7, students $5 and free for members and persons under 16. Free admission Friday evenings, 6:00–9:00 p.m. The Museum is closed Fridays after 6:00 P.M. from Independence Day to Labor Day. www.AsiaSociety.org/museum

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