Skip to content
Yoshitomo Nara

Yoshitomo Nara

Yoshitomo Nara

Little girls with big eyes

Yoshitomo Nara is along with Takashi Murakami and Yayoi Kusama, one of the largest exponents of the Japanese Contemporary Art. A pioneer whose signature style has been present in galleries and museums all around the world in more than 40 solo exhibitions since 1984, including the MoMA and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (MOCA). His expressive childish characters have inspired lots of new artists and reached a record $25M on auctions at Sotheby’s Hong Kong (with Knife Behind Back from 2000). 

Nara was born in Hirosaki, Japan, on 5th December 1959. After graduating in Fine Arts in Aichi University in 1985 and obtaining a Master in 1987, he started his international formation travelling to Germany to study at the Kunstakademie in Düsseldorf until 1993.

This period was the key in creating his characteristic style combining the oriental and the occidental cultures. During the 90s, his technique matured to represent naive and simple but loaded symbolism works in which he portrayed children with rascal or dreamy expressions. Manga or ukiyo-e prints are great inspirations that he includes in his art.

Yoshitomo Nara’s works selection

Child sculptures

Little girls are the main characters in Nara’s works. In addition to the biggest sculptures shown in exhibitions, figures like Little Wanderer (2003) or Sleepless Night (2007) are amazing examples of art pieces to have at home. They represent Nara’s essence at his fullest.



Another of Nara’s popular characters are the puppies in white or soft colours. They are represented in a lot of works in different media. Our favourites are the figures and sculptures as the iconic Pup Cup (2003) or the The Pup King plush.



123 Drumming Girls (2020)

Nara released last year a set of three drummer girls inspired by his illustrations and produced in resin by the Hongkongese studio How2work.

Torre de Málaga at CAC Málaga (2007)

One of the collaborations with the japanese collective “graf was held at the Contemporary Art Center of the andalusian city in Spain. Torre de Málaga was an installation built with materials from the city creating a tower inside the museum in the author's style along with some big canvases.


Yoshitomo Nara continues creating from Nasushiobara, in Japan, offering his Pop Art in a lot of media (painting, drawing, installations, sculptures, art toys…). If kids are the future, we have a lot of future with Yoshitomo Nara.

Discover the best contemporary artists in Kaneda Toys and get a collection worthy of the best museums.

Previous article STEVEN HARRINGTON
Next article KANEDA BOOKS