Japanese figurative paintings

I went to the National Museum of art in Osaka the other day, and saw a lot of inspiring stuff. The exhibition that was on was titled “Garden of Painting—Japanese Art of the 00s”:

To commemorate the fifth anniversary of the National Museum of Art, Osaka’s relocation from Expo Park to Nakanoshima, in the heart of Osaka, we are pleased to present a special exhibition titled “Garden of Painting—Japanese Art of the 00s.” In this event, we focus on new figurative painting from the last decade to showcase the vibrant activities of a younger generation of Japanese artists.

In this exhibition, we present some 200 works by 28 artists, including recent and new works, throughout the museum’s exhibition spaces in the second- and third-floor basements. Among these are the unforgettable O Jun with his witty portraits and iconography; Kobayashi Takanobu, who depicts landscapes and people shrouded in a distinctive kind of light; artists from the preceding generation such as Nara Yoshitomo, who is known for his pictures of young girls with incisive looks; up-and-coming artists like Goto Yasuka, Sakamoto Natsuko, and Atsuchi Tomoko, who were born in the 1980s; and Kusama Yayoi, who has in recent years been exploring new frontiers in painting through her use of line drawings.

Here’s a list of the things I liked the most:

  • Goto Yasuka, ‘yosegaki’
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  • Nara Yoshitomo, ‘the little judge’, ‘agent orange’, ‘after the acid rain’
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  • Hanazawa Takeo, ‘winter garden’, ‘mikrokozmosz’
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  • Ikeda Mitsuhiro, ‘untitled’
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  • Kato Mika, ‘canaria’, ‘cloud’
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  • Kobayashi Takanobu, ‘forest’, ‘sunbather 8’, ‘pillow’
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  • Ozawa Sakae, ‘Zauber/magic’, ‘the secret of the world tastes like honey’, ‘i always wanted to cry’, ‘the world becomes dream, the dream becomes world’
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  • Kusama Yayoi
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  • Makishima Takeshi, ‘dragonfly’, ‘replay’, ‘in motion’, ‘helios’
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  • Sugito Hiroshi, ‘quadII’
  • Machida Kumi, ‘gentle people’, ‘rocking horse’
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  • Aida Makoto, ‘picture of waterfall’
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  • Hoki Nobuya, ‘untitled’
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  • Sakamoto Natsuko, ’tiles’, ’tiles, shower’
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