Yoshitaka Amano - devA-lOKA
19 January—29 February 2008
Galerie Michael Janssen, Berlin
The Galerie Michael Janssen Berlin is pleased to present the third solo exhibition by Yoshitaka Amano. 30 new works, as well as new anime lms will be on view until the end of February at the Berlin gallery space. With its 7 meters the largest painting, Deva-Loka depicts a fabled world completely lled with psychedelic gures. On the many smaller aluminum panels fantastic characters are singled out, as if sprung from it. Juxtaposing these intricately and detailed works are a number of midsized paintings with serene superheroes, grim warriors and el sh heroines.
Amano, born in Shizuoka City, Japan, in 1952, who rose to fame via the creation of anime, manga and video game characters, began his career in Japan’s major cartoon studios in the mid 1970s. Since the 1980s he devoted himself to independent projects as a freelance artist. Yoshitaka Amano lives and works in Tokyo and New York.
In addition to his work as the in influential graphic developer and designer for the Gatchaman series (G-Force), the Final Fantasy Cycles and many other heroic epics for the animated cartoon and the then nascent video game industry, Amano‘s creations have also been displayed in solo and group exhibitions at diverse locations – the Barbican Art Centre, London, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Shanghai and the Kunstverein Heilbronn (Heilbronn Arts Association).
The German Film Museum in Frankfurt will be including his works in its exhibition Anime! High Art – Pop Culture from February 27 through August 3, 2008. After this, the exhibition, which will be accompanied by a detailed catalogue, will proceed to the Louisiana Museum in Denmark. A selection of Amano’s lms will also be on show during the special exhibition Global Eurasia, held in the Japan Foundation in Cologne in the spring of 2008. “There are two reasons why it is necessary to bring Yoshitaka Amano‘s immensely successful professional biography into the equation here: on the one hand, the work he has done as a creator for his pictures; on the other, it has become dif cult where Amano’s oeuvre is concerned to uphold the differentiation popular in German speaking quarters between a more commercial applied visual art and the personally expressive variety.
The way in which Amano combines the traditions of Japanese painting with western in Infuences or fuses the pictorial language of the classical period with ubiquitous popular culture is reminiscent of that form of “cultural hybridity”, which is not only so extraordinarily formative for the success story of manga-culture, but also for contemporary Japanese painting per se. Under the aegis of this synthesis, Amano was able to develop a body of painting during the past three decades, which captivates by its enormous variety of artistic means. [...] It is significantly affected by both, the pictorial language of the Japanese manga-tradition and the characteristics of European Symbolism and Expressionism.”
Yoshitaka Amano, devA-lOKA, Installation view, 2008, Galerie Michael Janssen Berlin