photo by OMOTE Nobutada

Yuta Nakamura: Willow Festival Little Willow Festival

November 18, 2017 - January 27, 2018


Gallery Koyanagi is pleased to present a solo show by Yuta Nakamura, titled “Willow Festival Little Willow Festival”.  He will construct a metaphorical cityscape of Ginza, using documents and merchandise from “Toho Koyanagi (Koyanagi Ceramics)” and other commercial entities such as Shiseido, in the form of an installation art.  The effect is to visualize the efforts made by the predecessors to make believe a happy and ideal lifestyle, despite the catastrophic events like the Kanto Great Earthquake and WWII.  The work was made possible by the artist’s research, looking into the archive of the Koyanagi’s, formerly a small department store specialized in ceramics, established in 1852.


Yuta Nakamura was born in 1983 in Tokyo, and now lives and works in Kyoto.  In his dissertation when receiving PhD in Art from Kyoto Seika University, he researched the history of tiles and ceramics from an anthropological point of view.  His style to create artworks based on minute examination gained recognition, and was invited to major group exhibitions such as Aichi Triennale and the 20th Biennale of Sydney both in 2016.  He has an original and subjective approach, to weave the historical fact and cultural state into his artworks.  The objects and installations composed of collected elements such as cracked pieces of ceramic, old books, old photographs, post cards and architectural plans, mixed with newly hand created things, seems to tell a fond story.


“Willow Festival”as you see in the exhibition title, was an actual festival that celebrated the symbolic willow trees along the Ginza main street, still cherished to this day.  “Little Willow Festival” was a pun and a sales campaign directed by the 5th proprietor Kaichiro Koyanagi (1922–2010).  (Ko means little and yanagi means willow in Japanese) He himself designed a small vertical banner-like tanzaku to festively and fashionably decorate his ceramic shop. 


The solo show is in two parts, “Willow Festival” and “Little Willow Festival”. In “Willow Festival” he created 4 showcases, inspired by selected 4 facades that actually existed, shown along with chosen merchandise and documents.  In “Little Willow Festival” he created a display shelf with ceramics and tanzaku banners in the manner of a still life painting depicting a dining table.


press release
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