Yoshitomo Nara + graf: A-Z Project: BALTIC Castle (2008)   

BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art

Navigate your way through Yoshitomo Nara and graf's labyrinthine 'A-Z Project'.

A-Z PROJECT: Introduction
In 2008, for the first time in a UK public gallery, Yoshitomo Nara and creative design team graf presented the latest installation of their ongoing A-Z Project.

View of the exhibition from Level 5. BALTIC Castle in foreground

Moving further into the exhibition

WAIT! We've seen this dog somewhere before...

Ah! There it is. A larger version of Your Dog, as seen in the BALTIC exhibition The Zabludowicz Collection (2007)

Nara’s work embodies a defiant spirit that comes with a youthful optimism and belief that we can change the world. He is best known for his  deceptively simple drawings, paintings and sculptures of children with apparently innocent, ‘kawaii’ or cute expressions. Nara is influenced by popular culture including punk, rock 'n' roll, Manga and the American cartoons of his childhood.
A-Z PROJECT: The Collaboration
In 2003, Nara met Hideki Toyoshima an artist and one of the founders of graf and began the A-Z Project. The collaboration explores the relationship between the individual, the space they inhabit and the objects in their surroundings.
For each phase, the team create a new wooden house that responds to the particular environment of the exhibition space. For BALTIC, Nara and graf have constructed three cross shaped houses. The third house ‘BALTIC Castle’ is specially designed for the exhibition and built using local reclaimed materials.
As Hideki Toyoshima of graf points out “The materials are not only recycled, they have stories too. BALTIC Castle is a celebration of the blood sweat and tears of all of the people that have been involved in the project over the four weeks, from the BALTIC staff and technical team to the student volunteers.”
This was the map, drawn by the artists to help you navigate the space. With the images in this presentation we hope you can recreate it in your mind. There's just one artwork we haven't mentioned...


Credits: Story

All photos by Colin Davison

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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