Inspired by the Passion of an Artist as a Young Lady
gIn Tokyo, people suffer from a dry blast, donft they? Dry air is not
good for my works, either.h It was on rainy Saturday afternoon in March of this year that I visited
Tamamotofs atelier-cum-residence in Osaka. gI must make sure that my collection will
exist at least for 100 years,h said Tamamoto.
In her words, I sensed the pride and determination of Tamamoto, who
lives in the world of art. She has come
a long way as an artist who has created a number of artworks and whose original
style has attracted numerous people, and I believe this long journey backs up
She was born in Toyama Prefecture. When she was a high school student, to fulfill her aim of acquiring the
basics of painting, she split her time and spent half of it in Kyoto Prefecture,
where the art school was, and the other half in Toyama, where her home
was. Knowing this, I
sense that she was keenly aware of her calling for art at an early age. Then she began to develop her style and try
oil paintings and fiber art. After
graduating from university, she started to work for a clothing company as a
designer of textile. Her responsibility
included developing new clothing materials, dyeing such fabrics, and designing
traditional tapestries. She demonstrated
her talents in every field. However, she remembers that she couldnft fully express herself.
herself as an artist gNana Tamamoto.h To
find the way to achieve it, I think she had been taking this long journey. In this process, she was put into various
situations: she was challenged physically and mentally, and experienced both
applause and jealousy from other artists.
It was when she was 24 that she established her own touch with which she
converts the texture of fabrics and threads into something different, and
attaches them onto the canvas, and in addition puts colors on them. Using this touch, she makes her
two-dimensional works look like three-dimensional. It is so original that people who appreciate
her works can tell at a single glance that those are Tamamotofs. This is the technique Tamamoto alone could
Evidently, a solid
foundation of technique she has consolidated, thorough knowledge on materials
like fabrics, and gher ability to snuggle against the heart of someone elseh
which also is her natural ability are making her works even more
brilliant. She has never stopped
striving to create the collection that gwill exist for 100 years.h
Her style is also
very original. Soft lines and warm
colors cocoon us compassionately, and the black color and bizarre objects that
appear suddenly on the canvas turn us down unsympathetically. Her works never allow an easy appreciation,
but at the same time, they capture our heart, and we canft take our eyes off
from it. This is because, in my belief,
her works make us accept the negative side of human beings such as human
imperfection as well as betrayal, and also make us face directly the essence of
human nature that is not explainable.
Appreciating her works doesnft just mean that we face well-balanced
beauty of art.
Many fans of
Tamamotofs works say that they feel as if her works could see deep inside of
their heart. If you want to appreciate
her work, you must also face yourself.
Tamamoto herself says, gI have a great interest in the inner world of a
human.h It may be true that her
perspective isnft set to something visible.
As an example,
take gMantle,h which will probably be the main representation of this
exhibition. gTo me, a mantle has long
been something you use to hide something,h Tamamoto says. gAlso, if I see clothing hung outside to dry,
I can imagine without trying to who wears it.h
This sensibility of hers took its form as gMantle.h
A black, smooth
torso of a female with a sexy, red lingerie.
On the contrary, the surface of the mantle over her shoulders is covered
by blue and yellow projections, and looks as if something was coming out of the
torso. Why did Tamamoto choose the black
torso? To my question, she replied with
a clear answer. gThough women act
instinctively, it is generally said they are realistic. They are romantic, but when they get
irrational, they look ugly. Though they
have ambivalent feelings on the bottom of their heart, they fix their eyes on
the reality without closing their eyes.
I feel black is the symbolic color of women.h
a woman might look, she has ambivalent feelings deep inside of her. She usually hides them, and thatfs why those
hidden emotions leak out from the interstices of her clothing. Evidently, not everyone can see such inner
world. Tamamoto sees it with her mindfs
This erotic torso
doesnft have arms or legs. This is why
concept and eyes of people who appreciate this work naturally focus on her dark
black abdomen. This method is also
impressive. The back of the torso is
colorful, too. This is a 360-degree
piece that you can appreciate from every angle.
works will also be exhibited: gPerfect Accordance,h which combines each half of
a gwhiteh body and gblackh soul, gThe Eternal Sleep,h in which every cell gets
together for the last time in one line at the time of her grandmotherfs death,
gMindfs Eye,h which sees the reality though it appears that it doesnft really
see anything. All of them are the
representation of her efforts to depict the inner world of human beings. Also in France, the universality and high artistic quality of her works
is highly appreciated, and many people all over the world are now waiting
to look at them in their home countries.
which reflects Tamamotofs continuous efforts to try and develop a new touch,
will be exhibited at the village of Ainokura, designated as a World Heritage
site of UNESCO, at Gokayama in the city of Nanto, Toyama Prefecture. It will be a face-to-face confrontation
between traditional Japanese culture, which has supported human activities for
a long time, and the artist of modern art who aims to continue to capture
peoplefs heart for the coming 100 years.
Will either of them win, or will they combine with each other to create
new harmony? I invite all visitors to
feel the tension of this confrontation.
I say this because it is Tamamotofs wish to offer her fans a surprise,
an emotion and joy. Nothing could be
more enjoyable for the artist and visitors to see stereotypical ideas on garth
Journalist, Center of Redaction
The Mainichi Newspapers, Osaka