Nana Funo weaves delicate and sensuous motifs into her paintings with unique matiere. “Scab on Flower,” which was exhibited at VOCA (The Vision of Contemporary Art) exhibition at The Ueno Royal Museum this year, embraces a sense of floating as well as quiet grace coming from the multilayered matiere; acrylic, dye, gesso, and acrylic again.
The world of imagination and stories that she used to indulge in her childhood revisits on canvas with the motifs of sometimes nightmare or personal memories with family. The other source of images is her sketchbook, which she draws everyday. The drawings on the book are superb themselves, but they imply unlimited possibilities on canvas.
At TKG Editions Kyoto, approximately 100 small paintings of 20 x 20 cm are exhibited. The motifs are flowers, trees, myths, and travels to the unknown places, etc. Kaleidoscopic images by various mediums fill the exhibition space.
Nana Funo’s paintings are richly filled with motifs of decorative patterns, animals and plants, figures, landscapes and written characters. They are composed with various techniques – graceful drawings of acrylic, repetitive overlaying of gesso or dye, patterns that come into appearance from masking – and the visual effect that embraces richness in layers arouse a curiosity to explore what is illustrated deep inside the paintings. Textures similar to porcelain, textile or sometimes relief can be observed in the works. The technique and unique textures she brings about by continuously moving her hands across the picture plane start to function as an independent language, and it is as if the artist gazes in concentration at the state of the world, while keeping it at a certain distance from herself and her works.
Nana Funo was born in 1983 in Shizuoka, Japan. In 2008, she received an M.F.A. in Painting from Kyoto City University of Arts. She currently lives and works in Kyoto. Her solo exhibitions at Tomio Koyama Gallery include “The Humidity of Underground and the Feel of Paper” (Tokyo, 2014), “The Fish Glitters as Its Scales Tremble “(Singapore, 2014), “Vessel That Never Leaks” (Tokyo, 2012) and “Who Knows the Stories” (Kyoto, 2009). Her selected group exhibitions include “The Way of Painting” (Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery, Tokyo, 2014) and “VOCA 2009 – The Vision of Contemporary Art” (The Ueno Royal Museum, Tokyo, 2009). Her work is included in MONTBLANC and GBU Japan, Takahashi Collection, Takamatsu City Museum of Art and the JAPIGOZZI Collection.