Japanese Modernism Across Media

Yoshitomo Nara: Never Forget Your Beginner's Spirit

Yoshitomo Nara (1959-) is one of the most well-known Japanese contemporary artists. His trademark images are those of angry little girls and large floppy dogs. His paintings are extremely flat, deceptively simplistic, and often utilize pastel color schemes. However, the expressions on the faces of his otherwise “cute” subjects range from melancholy to defiance to anger. 

This exhibit will provide background about Nara's childhood and young adulthood, and will also discuss the main themes of his works with special focus on three of his major influences: the loneliness he experienced as a youth, punk and folk music, and the 2011 Tohoku earthquake.

The exhibit pages should be viewed in order. My visual essay and the bibliography for the entire exhibit are in the section "Visual Essay: Yoshitomo Nara's The Lonesome Puppy." My Neatline is in the section "The Tohoku Earthquake: A Turning Point." 


Joana Yasui, Bryn Mawr '15