I unintentionally read a book called “Nara Yoshitmoto- Nobody’s fool” at library and was strongly attracted by the artists’ description of the ‘rebellious’ but ‘pitiful’ characters. While looking his painting it reminds me of my work: the surface of my work is usually filled with randomly glued yarns or fabrics, yet the artist is good at delicately portraying the characters and usually finishing with a smooth surface; the atmosphere I create generally is quite comical, while the little figures in Nara’s painting are companied with sorrowful and isolated emotion… …So, what makes me so keen on his works? What element in his painting attracts me so much?

I think the most key aspect is the authenticity and approachability of the little character he created. He/she is gazing at the viewers, through his/her eyes I can strongly resonate with the isolated character, or, probably, with the artist himself. Maybe the artist was inclined to share the emotion when he was studying at another country ( as the book written Nara Yoshitomo has been studying art at German for 10 years), while I, as a student currently study at a foreign country, just feel the same feeling when I am looking at his painting, even though after many years.


In terms of the painting profession, I appreciate his control of colour and texture of a painting. His acrylic apparently is flat-painted, while if you looked carefully you would find the subtle variation within each area. What’s more, in such peaceful and quiet painting there are always some part can surprise viewers—the eyes. which in my view lighten the whole painting

Afterwards I saw a phrase Nara said on Artnet website:

“Because of the imagery that I usually work with in my paintings, imagery that some people misinterpret as being manga—like, not a lot of people would see this spiritual side of my work. The fact is I have never once said that I’ve been influenced by Japanese manga.”

This similarly reminds me of my experience. When others saw my work they always ask me if I had textile background before learning painting, yet actually all the skills I use with yarn are self-created. This fact makes me think of the originality of artwork today. Every artist is trying to create their own recognisable works, but finally is tagged with unrelated label, isn’t this a lamentable thing for art today?

Maybe, it is the resonates within differences between us that makes me love his painting so much!


ziyin guan