Yoko TAKARADA               chief curator, Takaoka Art Museum

Crossing Gaze -- A mention of the work of Nana Tamamoto

There is a work entitled "Inside and Outside"(2011). It suggests nothing about the inside with its outside painted all over in black. I wonder how you feel when putting your hand on the door to open it. You cannot resist being attracted by something concealed or mysterious, but if you let the chance go past leaving without opening the door, you will not be informed as to the truth locked in there.

The work even shows a monumental appearance, and presents a symbolic expression of the theme that the artist has consistently worked with. Everyone can keep up appearances, but things about the inside do not go so simply. Tamamoto continues to draw while seeing persistently a life as it is with cool, realistic eyes without daring to reveal such condition.

The artist tries to create a representational expression of human inner complexity through several processes: firstly, resin pieces and round projections made by filling cloth with wool and stitching up the cloth are covered over on a board. Each object is different from every other one. These objects prevent spectators' gaze from trying to trace smooth the surface, which sometimes disturbs their emotion. After the uneven ground is completed, passionate, strong colors are painted, but the colors, as if the brilliance were totally denied, are once painted out.

Following each process of the production, you will find that a remarkable amount of time has been put into this work. Are the repeated practices a waste of time?  I don't think so: because I feel there is artist's sincere attitude coming close to the truth of life as if spinning something from it through accumulating persistent treatments while repeating conversations with unvoiced voices. Her gaze, or gentleness, though I do not know whether or not it is appropriate for me to call so, impresses me as something likely to treasure a life that are complicatedly jumbled and can even reveal its disgraceful condition. Covered with colors changing like rainbow from red, yellow, blue to purple, the work finally emerges as an expression of a kind of salvation.

If there is a literally born artist, Nana Tamamoto is the very person worthy to be called so. And, it might not be so significant to follow the chronology of her artistic path, because artists' work constantly changes like their life itself. It is lucky that you can observe their oeuvre as a contemporary of them. I wonder how Tamamoto's work will begin to look when facing new phases at new places. This never stops attracting appreciators of her work.

Yoko Takarada

chief curator, Takaoka Art Museum