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 to Liverpool Independents Biennial 2006, together with Mieko Noguchi - glass artist based in Kanagawa Japan - to exhibit along with local artists in the "Fire & Eurhythmy" exhibition, at Ikonography Gallery on Mathew Street, as part of the Liverpool Independents Biennial 2006.

While exhibiting his work at Ikonography, Nagachoo also held various live art performances, starting with the private view at Ikonography and followed up by the View Two Gallery along the Transvoyeur (Liverpool-New York artitsts group); 52 Roscoe Street Meta-conceptual Gallery (impromptu dancing in response to music), within the Living Market hosted by Beccy Williams and the exhibition curated by Red-Dot (Colin Serjent and Sue Milburne); and of course, around Liverpool' most popular areas: city centre, Lime Street Station, Albert Dock and in front of Tate and Walker galleries with the "Ombu" style art carried on his back; with daytime calligraphy performance at the plaza of the Roman Catholic Cathedral (Friday 13th, from 12.30 pm), and with happening again at Ikonography gallery, (Friday 13th of October; during the open evening 5.30 -8.30pm).

Photos of him at the Cathedral and other places in Liverpool

Details of the current exhibition

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.

The cycle of his live performance activity in Liverpool ended where it started: at Ikonography, on the 13th of October, during the last open evening (5.30 -8.30pm) of the project and exhibition.

"Fire& Eurhythmy" exhibition was open to the public until 10th of November 2006.

Text put together by Nicole Bartos, after interviewing the artist and using extracts from Nagachoo’s byography.

Interview assisted by Minako Jackson who has covered all translation matters,
12 October 2006, Liverpool.
Recent updates and corrections, 23rd April 2007




All rights reserved. Copyright 2006 © Gallery4allarts & Nicole Bartos