Exhibition by celebrated Japanese artist Yoshitomo Nara opens at The Art Gallery of Western Australia

  • ‘Reach Out to The Moon, Even If We Can’t’ is the first solo exhibition of
  • Yoshitomo Nara’s works in Australia
  • Nara is one of the world’s most popular contemporary artists
  • The exhibition is exclusive to Western Australia
  • The free exhibition runs from 26 February 2023 to 25 June 2023

In a cultural coup for Western Australia, the first solo exhibition of world-renowned artist Yoshitomo Nara premieres at The Art Gallery of Western Australia (AGWA) on Sunday,

26 February 2023.

Yoshitomo Nara is one of the world’s most popular contemporary artists. He is known for his distinctive style and paintings of sweetly subversive child-like figures.

The free exhibition ‘Reach Out to The Moon, Even If We Can’t’ presents major sculptural works alongside paintings, drawings, ceramics, and photography. Dramatically displayed in AGWA’s largest gallery, the sculptural works form a series of interrelated islands that span a range of feeling states, offering visitors a poetic, reflective and ultimately hopeful experience.

Spanning 2011-2022, the exhibition gives Australian audiences access to key works from Nara’s recent output. This is a time in which Nara has been processing the devastating impact of the Fukushima disaster of 11 March 2011, that saw his hometown region hit by the combined effects of an earthquake, tsunami and nuclear reactor breakdown. Greatly affected by the disaster, Nara was unable to make art and found his way back to his practice through working with sculptural forms.

Yoshitomo Nara: Reach Out to The Moon, Even If We Can’t is part of AGWA’s ongoing commitment to enrich and deepen WA’s connections with contemporary art practices and cultural thinking in Asia.

It follows the recent opening of ‘Star Machine’, the first major museum exhibition of Farah Al Qasimi (b. 1991, Abu Dhabi) in Australia, and the group exhibition of works by contemporary Asian artists ‘I have not loved (enough or worked)’.

‘Reach Out to The Moon, Even If We Can’t’ opens with a ticketed launch event, ‘Nara After Dark’, on Saturday 25 February 2023, with live music by Perth favourites Pond and Grievous Bodily Calm. The exhibition is free to view at AGWA from Sunday 26 February 2023, and runs through to 25 June 2023.

As stated by Culture and the Arts Minister David Templeman:

“As we continue to re-engage with our Asian neighbours after the challenges of the global pandemic, it is wonderful to see such high-quality content on display here in our State gallery.

“Reach Out to The Moon, Even If We Can’t has been eagerly anticipated by fans and aficionados since its announcement earlier this year.

“I am sure many thousands of people will visit AGWA for this free exhibition, proudly supported by the McGowan Government.”

/Public Release. View in full here.