NANA FUNO

solo exhibition “The Humidity of Underground and the Feel of Paper”

地下の湿度と紙の手ざわり / The Humidity of Underground and the Feel of Paper, 2014, 51.0 x 65.5 cm ©Nana Funo

【Concept】

The paintings of Nana Funo symbolically represent graceful animals, plants, figures and letters that cover the whole pictorial space, regardless of its size. The repeated layers – created using various techniques such as acrylic paint, dyes, and masking, possess “a spatial complexity that cannot be captured through such mere expressions as those of floating, overlapping, or depth.”(Mitsue Nagaya, “VOCA 2009: The Vision of Contemporary Art”). Along with her painting works, she also draws by pen in a notebook for 3 to 5 hours a day. 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.

“When I am creating, I feel as if I am diving into water, or descending into the underground inside me. What I rely on at that time are the drawings that I have drawn many times which my hands remember, and the motifs that have come to be closely related to me as I have drawn them repeatedly.To stop breathing as long as possible, but never to drown. To draw continuously for a long period of time. To step forward without fear, even though the stairs continue such a long way down to the underground, and though the sunlight does not reach it.” (Nana Funo)

The exhibition features paintings as well as almost 50 drawings drawn with charcoal that are to be displayed for the first time as an exhibition. Nana Funo usually does not make any draft version or add corrections. However, when she draws with charcoal, she repeats the act of drawing and erasing, and she says that the motifs seem to possess a trembling movement until the work is complete. Please enjoy the world of illusion filled overbrimmingly with Nana Funo’s stories.

Artist Profile

Nana Funo

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.