in Tokyo / Japan
08.06.2024 - 29.06.2024 00:00
Nana Funo - Born for This

Tomio Koyama Gallery Tennoz is pleased to present Nana Funo’s solo exhibition “Born for This,” featuring the artist’s latest paintings that demonstrate new developments in her practice.

Funo elaborately and boldly develops her works as if sublimating the experiences, sensations, and emotions of her own life into a new world of narrative. The intertwining of meticulous brushstrokes and dense texture instill her paintings with a glossiness almost reminiscent of ceramic and sculptural surfaces, and a multi-layered feel like embroidery or delicately woven fabric, with viewers undoubtedly taken by surprise that such visual effects are achieved solely through use of acrylic paint.

In the early stages of her practice, Funo employed motifs of girls, animals, and items for good luck, depicting fantasies and stories she loved as a child, as well as memories of her family as an introverted form of expression to “delve into and stay inside her own world.”

However, by the time of her last solo exhibition in 2019, Funo had begun to express a major change of heart, using the subject of “keys” to depict her world being opened up.

The works exhibited on this occasion, present a significant change from her previous method of slowly and deeply layering motifs in monotone hues. Boldly experimenting with colors such as yellow, blue, and green, and with one painting inspiring her to create the next, she once again returns to the joy of immersing herself in the act of painting directly from her senses.
Having started a new family, given birth to her child, and experienced the death of her cat — the beauty of the small things in everyday life which made her appreciate the days spent with loved ones and even the time that has passed, had brought new perspectives and great changes to Funo’s work and practice.

“Stars I Saw in Kawanehoncho” depicts the time, scenery, and thoughts that she experienced in her friend’s hometown of Kawanehoncho, Shizuoka Prefecture, famous for its beautiful starry sky, that she visited last summer and fall during their family’s homecoming visit. Miraculously fun days of playing together and cheering at shooting stars at night. From mountains that appear to lie on top of each other to endearing little mounds of tea fields — the memories of that special summer that touched her heart are manifest within the work.

“Finding a Beautiful Door” is inspired by the words written by Funo’s friend’s daughters that same summer on an origami fortune-telling card they had made, and how she had been deeply moved by the sheer beauty of this phrase.

The works in this series are unique for being composed of pairs, with the panels being the same size as a single page or a double-page spread of the drawing notebook that Funo used to draw in every day.

They seem to reflect an exciting development in Funo’s practice, instilling her with the openness to paint as much as she wishes thanks to its familiar size, also presenting the impression of opening a beautiful door in a manner akin to turning the pages of a book.

Funo likens these works to prose, the motifs of which are based on the plants and trees in her garden to the beauties of everyday life that unfold like a diary.

Unexpected, refreshing remarks uttered by a pure and innocent being. Dazzling nature. The cycle of life. Funo’s works, which convey an awareness and joy for the of sparkle of the everyday, continue to depict a narrative world that transcends both time and space, stirring our memories and imagination.

Gallery hours 11 pm – 6 pm, closed Sun, Mon, National Holidays

Exhibition Duration 08.06. – 29.06.2024


Tomio Koyama Gallery Tennoz
Terrada Art Complex Ⅰ 4F, 1-33-10, Higashi-Shinagawa, Shinagawa-ku
140-0002 Tokyo


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