Mixed media on wood: Japanese ink on wood and pyrography
'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
you to break through these to forge ahead. Integration of an impromptu
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
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."
by Minako Jackson)
(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
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
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
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: