Y O S H I T O M O  N A R A

Miss Forest / Thinker

Urethane on bronze

500 x 140 x 159 cm

Executed in 2016


A B O U T   T H E   A R T I S T

Yoshitomo Nara (born 1959) is a Japanese artist best known for his enigmatic depictions of childlike figures. His style combines the two-dimensionality of traditional Japanese painting with the imagery of Western popular culture, as well as Japanese subcultures such as manga, anime, and illustration.


A B O U T   T H E   A R T W O R K

Nara’s venture into working with bronze began shortly after the Great East Japan Earthquake of 2011, the most powerful earthquake ever recorded to hit Japan that triggered a disaster at Fukushima nuclear plant. This tragedy catalysed a shift in Nara’s work to more contemplative, existential themes. In this sculpture, we see Nara articulate a relationship between the natural world and our inner minds. For Miss Forest/Thinker, Nara takes the pine tree as a symbol of growth, strength and contemplation, which he personifies into a woman; she is a woodland deity or higher being. This serene colossus is one of Nara’s “forest spirits”, transcendent beings connecting man and nature, made of strong and durable bronze, capable of withstanding time and natural disaster; symbols of life and hope. Deep and docile, sweet and subdued, this monumental and mythical being invites us to participate in her meditative state. Like the branches of a coniferous tree, Miss Forest’s conical hair appears to grow forever upwards, reaching beyond the confines of body-bound thought to a higher realm of spiritual reflection.