Takahumi KOBUKI                       Critical Writer on Art

Nana TAMAMOTO --- Condemned to be an Artist

I’m not particularly a fatalist, but I believe some people in the world are condemned to follow particular professions.  Typical of these are the best athletes in the world as well as actors or actresses, singers, and artisans in the highest level.  Also, I think we can find such people among management executives and politicians who are destined to lead other people. 

Evidently, they couldn’t have gotten their careers without having made a tremendous amount of efforts.  It is because they have kept their high motivation and continued to practice much harder than anyone else.  However, given the fact that the overwhelming majority in the world will not be repaid for the same amount of efforts, I have to say that such people are destined and called to choose those particular professions.

Nana Tamamoto is condemned and called to be an artist.

She has come a long way: having lived as a child in the world of nothing but colors and very blur images because of her weak eyes.  Having regained her eyesight miraculously at the time when she was a junior high-school student and become completely engaged in drawing, being overwhelmed by her realization that the world is full of objects with clear, straight lines.  Having studied drawing when she was a high-school student by going to Kyoto Prefecture every weekend from Toyama Prefecture where she lived at that time.  Having come to believe firmly that she was destined to be an artist through the experience of losing her health and lingering on the verge of death through overwork after she had gotten a job.  All of these various experiences have formed what she is now.

Talking about her style, she usually overdraws strong colors on a surface of a board etc. made uneven by fabrics and strings attached to it.  Colors she uses are sometimes so heavy that they remind us of human blood or flesh.  Human eyes and faces, cocoon-shaped protrusions, and cell-looking forms covering a surface also evoke emotions from deep inside of our spirit, and we ourselves can’t even explain what those emotions are.  What people show and what they hide, beauty and ugliness of human nature, and life and death.  All these various elements are agitated together and sublimed into one artwork.  It looks as if it embodies the chaotic universe, or love and compassion that envelop everything.            

Also, because of her rich originality in style, among people who look at her works, some are deeply moved by them, and others reject them.  In that sense, her works could be considered as a sort of powerful drug.

Artworks that are moderately nice and armed with the knowledge, and don’t forget to conform themselves to the current style.  Such works are now becoming the mainstream of the current art industry.  Obviously, Nana Tamamoto, who has become an artist because she is condemned to, doesn’t fit this category.  Now, one must wonder which one has the universal value that a true masterpiece alone possesses.

You, who appreciate her works, will be the one to decide.

If you free yourself from your prejudices and face her artworks with an innocent mind, you’ll find yourself content with your decision.

Takafumi KOBUKI
Critical Writer on Art