Japanese artist Yoshitomo Nara has launched his first Australian solo exhibition at the Art Gallery of Western Australia in Perth.
Titled ‘Reach Out to The Moon, Even If We Can’t’, the exhibit first opened on 26 February 2023 and is free for all patrons to access.
Pieces ranging from paintings, sketches, sculptures, pottery and photography are all displayed throughout exhibition.
According to AGWA, the works featured in Nara’s exhibit stem from a time when he was processing the tragic aftermath of the Fukushima disaster, which occurred back in March 2011.
Curtin University graduates Abbey Carson and Hojeswinee Kanagarajah are recent patrons of Nara’s exhibit and have shared their personal thoughts about it.
Abbey Carson graduated at the beginning of 2023 after completing her Bachelor of Arts degree. She is always on the lookout for new things to do in Perth, and felt encouraged to attend the exhibit after seeing plenty of advertisements promoting it.
“I honestly had never heard of Yoshitomo Nara until I started seeing ads for the exhibition,” Abbey admits.
“Through those ads, I realised that I have actually seen his work around before. Nara has some pretty iconic pieces.”
Abbey resonated with one of Nara’s many untitled pottery — a white vase with two young faces drawn on with black paint. One side is smiling while the other is sticking its tongue out.
“I think the reason why this is my favourite artwork is the simplicity, yet expressiveness of the faces. I’m not sure if there is a deeper meaning behind the piece, but I think personally there doesn’t need to be,” she says.
Hojeswinee Kanagarajah also graduated at the beginning of 2023 after completing her Bachelor of Arts degree. Unlike Abbey however, Hojeswinee was already familiar with who Yoshitomo Nara was.
“I was pleasantly surprised when it was announced that there would be a long exhibit held in AGWA,” she says.
“I like Nara’s work, so I was keen on going from the moment I found out.”
Hojeswinee favourite piece in the exhibition is a sketch called ‘Headache’.
“It’s a chaotic and noisy drawing, accurately reflecting the title,” she observes.
“I like how each line looks purposeful yet haphazardly drawn at the same time.”
While Abbey and Hojeswinee strongly recommend visiting Yoshitomo Nara’s exhibition, they also believe that AGWA could improve it even further by providing more descriptions about the pieces, as well as more information about Yoshitomo Nara as an artist.
The exhibition will be open for patrons until 25 June 2023.