2023.2.17 [fri] – 3.11 [sat]
'Even if the whole world is your enemy' Nana Soeda, oil on canvas, 1167×1820mm, 2023
The power of anger is immeasurable. I had previously always thought of anger as a necessary fuel to be assertive, but now it’s time to think of those on the other end of this anger…
How can I live while causing the least amount of pain to those around me? It is with this in mind I created these pieces.
– Soeda Nana
YUKIKOMIZUTANI is pleased to present ‘I’m fine’ a new solo exhibition from Nana Soeda. Running from 17th February to 11th March, the exhibition will feature a new collection of paintings and drawings.
Nana Soeda produces work inspired by toys sold in the markets across Asia, and characters of unknown authorship found scattered within cities. The characters she creates, removed not only from the mainstream but outside the counterculture also, are best described as expressions of the anger of the “voiceless and vulnerable” – with the artist herself included.
Soeda supposes that within the world of the character exists some sort of hierarchical structure, dictated by origin and form of consumption. Atop reign the world-famed characters born from American pop culture, with the followers of these primary characters forming the construction beneath. It is the characters that loiter at the very bottom echelons that become the focus for Soeda.
From the counterfeit superficial copies of famous characters lined up in market stalls, to the purely functional icons that appear suddenly on street-corner signage, these things overlooked by many become superimposed with the fragile subordinates to authority and the marginalized in society. Soeda uses the character as a release for suppressed emotions allowing for a bare expression of intention; confronting the existing hierarchy with a call to revolution from its lowest underclass.
Soeda’s unique production process sees her deconstruct and reassemble characters found throughout the world with apersonal sentiment while also emphasizing their cheapness and anonymity. The semi-random method of giving form to her work follows the manufacture of superficial and crude characters Soeda has encountered in the wild. Her characters rendered in a two-dimensional plane are arranged in the center of the image, literally center-stage, revealing a total admiration and respect for their cheapness.
Under the exhibition title ‘I’m fine’, Soeda pursues a compromise between intense emotions and tactfulness, taking a step forward from a previous form of expression let loose surrendered to anger. Eyes with an intense stare continue to evoke an internal shriek or rage, yet the timid while tender expressions showing affection, and the softly colored backgrounds, hint at a form of reconciliation.
Born in 1994. Studied art in Japan and London. Influenced by toys, billboards and junk for sale in Asia, she creates work utilizing her affection for such “cheapness” as well as feelings of resentment and sadness for the senseless aspects of society.