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Yoshitaka Amano at 55th Venice Biennale
by Art Statements
Location: Palazzo Bembo
Artist(s): YOSHITAKA Amano
Date: 1 Jun - 24 Nov 2013

Yoshitaka Amano has been selected to be part of the official program of the 55th Venice Biennale. His work Deva Loka will be exhibited at Palazzo Bembo within the international art project Personal Structures.

Prophet of New Animamix Art – Yoshitaka Amano:

Will Modern Art, as it enters a new century, usher in a new kind of aesthetic movement? In my own search, I have noticed that all over the world, there are artists who seem to be influenced by comics, cartoons and animation and use the distorted figures as tools of their expression. Slowly these artists are forming a new art trend with these figurative languages. Animation and comics are two different words in English, but in contemporary Chinese, they are quite often used together. Hence, I have combined ‘animation” and “comics” to create “Animamix” as the name for this new development in Contemporary Art. Weather animation or comics, the maturation of this concept and form all took place at the end of the 20th century. The artist Yoshitaka Amano is one of the most important pioneers in this movement internationally.

Yoshitaka Amano was born in 1952 in Shizuoka City in Japan. He started his career as character designer in 1967 for popular animation films such as Gatchaman (G-Force), Hutch The Honey Bee and The Time Bokan series. Later, he began his second career as an illustrator for magazines in the early 80’s. The many films and books he participated in creating made him immensely popular in Japan, and the characters he created later brought him international recognition. His ever changing role seemed to make him a prophet in the creative art world. Amano took a new position in creating visual concept designs for game software in 1987, and developed the aesthetic of the Final Fantasy franchise, making it one of the most successful games of all time. His imagination seemed limitless. Amano even expanded to designing stages and costumes, creating stained glass art works, and producing limited edition lithographic prints. All of his previous experiences with animation films, book illustrations and prints provided a rich background for Amano to delve into painting. In 1997, he established his own studio in New York, enabling him to continue his creative ventures in many different areas. One may find that the eccentric beauties or heroes in Amano’s artworks are often cross-cultural. These strange, fantastical characters rouse a riotous intersection of reality and virtual reality. The caricatures in Amano’s artworks, that look extraterrestrial or prehistoric, have encountered a new reality that exists within the imaginative world. He crosses time zones and borderlines into fictional spaces that results from his abundant science fiction illustrations. The eyes in Amano’s paintings are often over exaggerated as if they are looking at the viewers from another world. The emphasized quality of lines is significant for Amano’s art works because these are the traces of his hands; this is the evidence of his presence. Like many animators or comic artists, infusing artworks with personal narrations is an important aspect of the work. He is one of the very few Animamix artists who enjoy equal fame in the animation and fine art world. Being a fan, artist Takashi Murakami even sources some of his inspiration in Amano’s creation, re-interpreting some of his iconic commercial works. Amano is a leading creative power in the new trend of the 21st century, a trend that reaches beyond Japan, and he will easily become one of the most influential artists of our time.

-Victoria Lu

Art Critic, Professor, Shih Chien University, Taipei, Taiwan

Image: © Yoshitaka Amano, Art Statements

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