Amano 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 artist. On show a number of expansive canvases and mid-sized aluminium panels with fabled beings, psychedelic ornamentation and grim superheroes as well as new films.
Michael Janssen is pleased to present a comprehensive solo exhibition by Yoshitaka Amano. Amano, born in Shizuoka, 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 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 including the Barbican Art Centre, London, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Shanghai and the Kunstverein Heilbronn (Heilbronn Arts Association).
Until the end of February 2008, a number of expansive canvases and mid-sized aluminium panels with fabled beings, psychedelic ornamentation and grim superheroes as well as new films by the cartoon specialist will be on show in the Berlin gallery space.
The German Film Museum in Frankfurt will subsequently be including his works in its exhibition 'Anime! High Art -- Pop Culture'. 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 films 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 of mangas and animes (animations) provides an undisputed frame of reference for his pictures; on the other, it has become difficult 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 influences 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."
Image: Untitled, 2007, Mixed media on aluminium panels, 50 x 50 cm
Opening Friday January 18, 2008 7 - 9 pm
Galerie Michael Janssen Berlin
Kochstr. 60 D-10969 Berlin