Mixed media on wood: Japanese ink on wood and pyrography by Nagachoo

Artist' Statement

'I want to be a Spiritual Venturer when I produce art'

"I took a trip to Spain in 1986. One of the impressions I got during the trip was
'subtlety'. Subtleness the Japanese people have is not bad. But as soon as I
returned to Japan, I felt the strong need for powerfulness. When you are in Japan,
you become conscious of the social structure and various contradictions that force
you to break through these to forge ahead. Integration of an impromptu and well-
thought-out structuredness. I think about this all the time. In recent years we often
hear the word 'healing' and it is true that we need healing and art must have that
element. But I don't think the healing element plays a big part in my sensitivity
which I feel important. To me, I want to believe art is to challenge the society. As
Francis Bacon exposed his inner self, I would like to reveal mine and I want to
produce artwork that questions myself and others. Meantime, I want to devote my
body to do performances. I believe it is important as an artist to be 'an expressionist
of the time' and I want to be a spiritual venturer when I produce art."

(Nagachoo) (translation by Minako Jackson

See (details) from Nagachoo's performance:"Link between ordinary and extraordinary"; Film courtesy of Nic Corke, Indepedents Biennial 2008:

Apart from the 2D works exhibited Nagachoo also presents on 1 November 2008, a live art performance entitled: "The Chair".

Mixed media on wood: Japanese ink on wood and pyrography by Nagachoo

Nagachoo - Expressing Japanese spirit in his original way

Nagachoo - Japanese artist based in Chiba, Japan - made his presence felt in Liverpool through his art and street performances, along the Independents Biennial 2006.
Being introduced by Minako Jackson to local artist and curator Nicole Bartos, Nagachoo has been invited in 2006 to the Liverpool Independents Biennial, together with Mieko Noguchi - glass artist based in Kanagawa Japan; they exhibited along other local artists as part of the "Fire & Eurhythmy" exhibition, which took place at Ikonography Gallery on Mathew Street, Liverpool.
Photos of him at the Cathedral and other places in Liverpool
Nagachoo has been a street performer since 15 years now, visiting and performing in 8 countries so far: Spain, Thailand, Bali (Indonesia), America (New York), etc.
I've witnessed some of his street and indoors performances, including the "Ombu" style (which means="piggy-back" or for a better understanding of the terms, I was explained that "Ombu" is actually used in the relation mother and baby: 'mother carrying baby on her back'). I admired this natural attitude and correlation with the art and artist.
Nagachoo is carrying his artwork/ 'creation' on his back almost everywhere he is going to and his motivation is: 'the challenge to the society'. He challenges the preconception of and about ART and also wants to prove that his art and art generally, can be viewed/ presented without much costs, without much money implication, just simply as Zen exists around us. As an independent artist he is emphasizing that the 'exhibition in a Gallery is not always necessary…'.
During his past artistic activity, Nagachoo has been working with some local communities in Bali along a local festival, meeting artists and working with children and adult groups.
Some of his most important artistic achievements and experiences seem to be the two solo exhibitions both held in Japan, Tokyo. First one held in Senkawa area of Tokyo, in a small theatre space, where he danced freely and exhibited his work. Since one of his dreams was to dance in a theatre space, this event remains of great importance to the artist.
The solo exhibition held in 1996 in Nihombashi area from Tokyo (where most of his work sold), is significant to the artist trough the intensity of each day activity along the event; he worked with musicians and performed every single day of this show. The concept was "Feel the floor". The gallery was laid with futon mattresses, where participating audience would relax, lying down while following the event/ performance in a very relaxed and natural way. Formality was excluded.
The artist has a wide portfolio within mixed media and live performance Art, 'happening', involving dancing, painting or Calligraphy at huge scale, flute music, etc. He also excels in creating paintings and mixed media work, combining the 'old and the new 'techniques such as: calligraphy or pyrography (a wood burning technique using a specific tool) and oil painting creating unique abstract artworks with a Japanese spirit.
“ His approach to performance is truly original through a combination of traditional folk based elements and contemporary art ideas. Has widely been exhibiting and performing and being awarded a few prestigious awards.
Nagachoo started to explore his dance ever since he was shocked to watch Antonio Gades' film, "Carmen" to find such a unique way of dance. He unconsciously aware of Budo (marshal arts) essence naturally built-in to his dance style. He finds happiness in re-discovering himself in different movements.
Started his creative career in 1983 with the release of his comic book "Tokkuri".” Since, he organised 16 exhibitions under various themes, has been accepted twice to Liquitex Bienniale ('93, '94) and has been awarded few prizes and encouragement awards from various art competitions, such as: a Serge Marjisse Prize, a Grand Prize of the 6th Art World Awards, Unique Awards in the 11th and 12th Yuten Awards; received a merit recognition in the 12th Neko Daisuki Competition; won an Encouragement Awards in the 6th and 7th Fude-Asobi (2001/2002); won an Encouragement Award in The 3rd Lion Illustration Competition and in 2003 an Award of Excellence in The 3rd Postcard Print Competition
Meanwhile, Nagachoo has been dancing regardless of time and space, in the streets, parks, at live venues and festivals.
Text put together by Nicole Bartos, after interviewing the artist and using extracts from Nagachoo’s biography.
Interview assisted by Minako Jackson who has covered all translation matters, 12 October 2006, Liverpool.

Read more about the artist or view more work:



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