Taka Ishii Gallery Photography / Film presents “Sixteen springs and sixteen summers gone-Take your time, it won’t be long now,” a solo exhibition of works by Yoshitomo Nara.
Nara has been consistently and intuitively shooting photographs since his teens, before he aspired to become an artist. This exhibition, his first with Taka Ishii Gallery, features approximately 200 photographs shot between 2014 and 2018.
When I graduated university, and started to think that I was going to keep painting,
When I moved by myself to Germany and felt kind of lonely,
When I felt like I had become all alone,
I had that old familiar camera in my hands again.
I had that camera I got in middle school in my hands again.
Being alone is what makes me pick up my camera.
Yoshitomo Nara, 2017
Excerpted from the artist statement written for the exhibition “Will the Circle Be Unbroken”
Shooting to simply note and document the value of easily overlooked scenes and lives, Nara has continuously produced photographs without any intent to exhibit them. For him, photography has been a way to record and sharpen his sensibility. The accumulation of those memories and records capture countless moments scattered across the seasons and are closely tied to the artist’s internal dialogues and reflections carried out while he produces artworks. We can trace the artist’s perspective and trajectories in the variety of climates, histories, landscapes, lives, peoples, and types of music captured as pure images in the photographs.
The subjects shot intuitively using the photographic device at closest hand, from film to digital cameras, and to the iPhone, are all treated equally and connect unconsciously to suggest a unique worldview. The memory that spreads as a primary landscape behind the irretrievable past, and the infantile ego and yearning for a private world, are processed through a cultivated sensibility and connected to a search for a new homeland. Nara’s gaze seems to be directed at the way private experience allows the individual to travel back in time and space, and circle back to the primordial existence of the world.