Works of Nana TAMAMOTO
Facing works of
Nana Tamamoto, what I sense vividly is the existence of something deeply
human. Of course, artworks are the
result of human creation, so there is no wonder many artworks reflect humanity
of artists. In some cases, the theme of
the work itself is simply ghuman.h
Tamamoto is no exception: she depicts ghumanh in her works. They always reflect the inner world of human
beings, sometime with a sense of humor, and some other time, with seriousness.
Take a look at
gThe Eternal Sleeph of 2001. This is the
work Tamamoto painted at a brush to mourn over the loss of her
grandmother. Something in a bright red
shape is painted as if it was floating in the sparkling silver. Looking at it very carefully, youfll see
fabrics, sheep wool, and gauzes in various forms and colors sewn on the
painting, and colored with oil and acrylic paints. To me, it seems that itfs more of a painting depicting something specific
such as a cell of a human being, an element of the universe, or soul of
a human, than a painting depicting something completely abstract.
colors, forms, or her artistic skills, not everything is perfect. Rather, some of her works give us the
impression that she is showing her inner world so passionately. Others may look somewhat
unsophisticated. However, though they
evoke such impressions, once those awkward shapes, heavy-looking colors, and
unique textures touch our heart through our eyes, we will begin to find each
one of them so clear as crystals, and to feel our heart resonate with those
from university of art and design, she had worked for a clothing company for a
few years. Then in 2000, Tamamoto began
her career as an artist, and since then she has focused on creating her
artworks. It was her losing health that
changed the course of her life, and this experience made her look deep inside
of herself, try to realize what life means, and express herself through her
creation. She hasnft created many works
so far. Each work, however, was born
because it had to, and the reason to be born was different in each case. Works such as gWoman Body,h gBody,h
gInseparable,h gLabyrinth,h gCompassion,h gSelfishness,h and gAffectionh are
good example. Each of them reflects
various emotions inside of Tamamoto, such as her feelings for her illness, her
love toward her own family, and her strong attachment to life.
In Japan today, it has become difficult to find artists who are trying
to face what a ghuman beingh is and to stick to their own style to express
themselves. I think itfs because we can get everything we
want in this modern world. It seems we
can choose whatever we want since the world is full of choices. We even think we can easily get what looks
nice, fun, or cool, and try to grab them.
However, being asked about what we really need, can we sincerely face
each of the things we consider truly precious?
Can we face human nature, or face ourselves, without turning our eyes
away? Can we really do so without
feeling obligated, or refusing to do so?
have their own voices. She has found
such voices in the process of facing and cutting deep inside of herself, while
living in this reality where everyone fantasizes, acts by greed, and clings to
many things. In this modern world, we
hear her voice through her artworks, and find something really rare and
precious in them.
Two old Japanese
houses have been chosen to be the venues of this exhibition: gthe House of
Uchiyama,h which used to be a farmhouse of a wealthy farmer, and gthe House of
Kanaoka,h which used to be a house of a pharmacist. Both of them are remains from Edo and Meiji Period.
These venues have been chosen because Tamamoto expressed her strong
intention to exhibit her collection at such old Japanese houses. Being a great-granddaughter of an owner of a nice and big farmhouse, she
feels the trace of human activities from such houses as well as a bond
gMindfs Eyeh and
gClairvoyance,h both of which are latest works and will be exhibited at this
exhibition, represent human eyes that can penetrate what is hidden and cannot
be seen from our eyes. What does
Tamamoto try to see with her eyes different in shapes and colors wide
open? gDonft let your eyes be clouded:
that is important,h says Tamamoto.
Taking her words to my heart, I want to fix my eyes on the coming
artworks of Tamamoto, who tries to see her works, human beings, and the world
as something organically linked, with her unclouded eyes.
Museum of Modern Art, Toyama