“Hello, can you do an exhibition of Mr. Nara?” Yoshitomo Nara Hirosaki 2002-2006 Exhibition Document Exhibition report. Tracing the trajectory of relations between artists and local communities|Tokyo Art Beat

Prior to the establishment of the Hirosaki Brick Warehouse Museum, an exhibition was launched to take stock of Yoshitomo Nara’s exhibition, which was held three times in 2002, 2005 and 2006. A multifaceted look at the passion and achievements of the artists, local communities and volunteers. Until January 29, 2023. (Photograph by the author)

Trajectory between Yoshitomo Nara and his hometown Hirosaki, Aomori Prefecture

“Hello, can you do an exhibition of Mr. Nara? Yoshitomo Nara Exhibition Hirosaki 2002-2006 Documentary Exhibition”but,Hirosaki Brick Warehouse Museumstands at

Born in 1959, Yoshitomo Nara was born in Hirosaki City, Aomori Prefecture. Moved to Germany in 1988 and returned to Japan in 2000. As an internationally acclaimed artist, he continues to present his works around the world, and in 2002, 2005 and 2006 he held exhibitions in his city home of Hirosaki, housed in a brick warehouse before it was turned into an art museum. . This exhibition, which will be held at the Hirosaki Brick Warehouse Museum, opened in 2020, will look back on the trajectory of these three exhibitions through various materials, photographs and videos. As I trace the relationship between Nara and her hometown of Hirosaki and the trajectories of those born there, I will consider what these experiences will pass on to the future. The curator is Yoko Sasaki.

The headline, “Hello, can we have a Mr. Nara exhibit?” was written by Chiyoko Yoshii (President of Yoshii Sake Brewery Co., Ltd.), who was the owner of the brick warehouse at the time. to the episode I played. This unique investigation led to the holding of three Yoshitomo Nara exhibitions involving citizens and volunteers, creating an experience that should be recorded and could not be done in an ordinary museum.

A contemporary artist from the city of Hirosaki, an unused historic warehouse, a city without an art museum…a variety of elements miraculously blend together to create a warm, handcrafted exhibit that will remain in the memory of all who visit. participated. Also, in volunteering and crowdfunding, we left a lot more numbers than expected.

Exterior of the Hirosaki Brick Warehouse Museum
Yoshitomo Nara A to Z Memorial Dog 2007 ©︎ Yoshitomo Nara Photo: Naoya Hatakeyama In 2006, approximately 900 volunteers and citizens participated in the YOSHITOMO NARA + graf A to Z event, which attracted approximately 70,000 visitors. Created in 2007 as a sign of gratitude to the local people involved, this work was installed in the green area of ​​Tsuchibuchigawa Yoshinocho in front of the brick warehouse and has long been a symbol of the city of Hirosaki. Since 2020, visitors are welcomed at the entrance of the Hirosaki Brick Warehouse Museum.

Depending on the museum, the following four attractions are available (Official site)。

① Look back at the three exhibitions from different angles, focusing on various materials such as prints, merchandise and videos
(2) Photo exhibition that conveys the energy that creates the exhibition
3. Some works by Yoshitomo Nara exhibited at the exhibition at the time
④Development of participatory projects that take place in parallel with exhibitions

In this article, I would like to present this exhibition along this structure.

Landscape from the place
From left to right: Fumio Nanjo (Special Deputy Director, Hirosaki Brick Warehouse Museum), Masako Nagano, Yoko Hosokawa, Yoshitomo Nara, Makoto Yamamoto, Masamichi Mikami (Director, Hirosaki Brick Warehouse Museum)

① Various materials such as printed materials, merchandise and videos

A chair for the custodial staff in 2002. At that time, the volunteers themselves brought their own chairs.

Interviews with people involved at the time, materials such as printed matter and goods collected with the cooperation of citizens are exhibited, and the trajectory from the preparation to the realization of the three exhibitions is introduced. Plus, we’ll see how Chiyoko Yoshii, the owner of the brick warehouse, met Nara, and how to form a sustainable community based on the existence of the volunteers who ran the exhibit.

Yukata and prints by Yoshitomo Nara produced in 2002
2006 printed matter, merchandise, etc.
Western and Japanese confectioneries near the site sold Nara-patterned sweets.

(2) Photo exhibition that conveys the energy that creates the exhibition

Photographs by two photographers, Masako Nagano and Yoko Hosokawa, who photographed activities in Nara and exhibitions in the city of Hirosaki. The photos show the scene of the place during the preparations for the exhibition, the people who participated in the creation of the exhibition and the state of the city at the time. A series of photographs that capture common subjects from different angles convey the excitement of the people who came together for the sole purpose of finishing Yoshitomo Nara’s exhibition, and the energy of the place emanating from the brick warehouse at the ‘era.

Makoto Yamamoto, a designer who has worked on the graphics of past exhibitions in Hirosaki and on the book “A to Z” (written by Yoshitomo Nara and graf), participated in the layout of the venue for this exhibition.

Masako Nagano “Photo Hut” from room view
Masako Nagano “Photo Hut” from room view
Venue scene, Yoko Hosokawa “Photo Hut”

3. Some works by Yoshitomo Nara exhibited at the exhibition at the time

Some of Yoshitomo Nara’s works that have been exhibited in Hirosaki in the past are displayed with materials from the exhibition of the time. In addition to paintings, drawings and three-dimensional works, books and records that Nara knew when he lived in Hirosaki are also on display.

Yoshitomo Nara, Milky Lake (2001)
Records from the Yoshitomo Nara collection of the place

Venue Scenes, Yoshitomo Nara, Surfing Dog (2001) and AKICHI RECORDS (2008)

④Development of participatory projects that take place in parallel with exhibitions

At Hirosaki Exchange #05, which aims to be a place where different perspectives such as creators, locals and viewers meet, interact and exchange, there are citizen participation programs such as Moshi Moshi Theater Club and Small Occurrence Research Project Expand your exposure.

The Moshi Moshi Theater Club is a group of young people who did not experience the Yoshitomo Nara exhibition, researching and creating plays. Scheduled to be played in a drama play format on Sunday, December 18, 2022.

“Moshi Moshi Theater Club” outside the hall from the hall

As part of the “Small Occurrence Research Project”, about ten citizens of Hirosaki who were recruited by application will begin walking around the city from June 2022, researching the impact and changes that the three exhibitions of Yoshitomo Nara had on individuals and communities. the results in fairs and on the web.

The work of Reo Sasaki, who became an artist using glass expression after volunteering at Yoshitomo Nara’s high school exhibition, is also on display. When he was in high school and worried about pursuing higher education, he discovered the possibilities of art at an exhibition by Yoshitomo Nara and went to Tokyo University of the Arts instead of a science university. . We can confirm that the seeds planted by Yoshitomo Nara’s exposure to the region and the next generation are slowly starting to germinate in different ways.

Part of Song of Snow Spirits and Flowers by Reo Sasaki

Finally, I would like to introduce Nara’s lyrics.

“(The Yoshitomo Nara Exhibition) was an event I was able to do because I was from Hirosaki City, and it was only possible because I was able to do it not once, but three times. It was a very ideal shape that allowed us to connect places to send messages. The surface of this exhibition seems to be fun, but it is difficult to see the difficulties underneath. It is a success that you can show this pain in a fun way.But I would be happy if you can imagine the difficulties you had to face while watching this.Young people can imagine if they could have participated, and maybe they could do something new It’s easy for people who’ve had the same experience to feel nostalgic, but young people who haven’t had it should be told.”

In addition, 30 volunteers took part in setting up this exhibition.

Nara said in the hall of the Moshi Moshi Theater Club, “I am very satisfied with the original curation for the citizens of Hirosaki.”

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