Nanao Kobayashi

Throw the Night

July 11 - August 8, 2020
12:00 - 17:00

Yutaka Kikutake Gallery is pleased to present Nanao Kobayashi’s first solo exhibition with the gallery, “Throw the Night,” from July 11 to August 8, 2020. This marks the artist’s first solo showing since 2009, and features a selection of new works created for this occasion.


A vast, deep, dark, bright, and empty world both near and far.

The act of stitching particle-shaped things with holes.

A task that is repeated endlessly forever.

From my fingertips, I pass through a myriad of tori.

One’s hands probably know more than what words could describe,

engaging in a spiral movement that appears almost psychokinetic.

The thread’s orbit as it continues to spin and revolve, evokes a pure expanse of time.

Ancient history may in fact be the future.

The patterns that eventually come to emerge are fractals created by stitching particles together.


Nanao Kobayashi


Kobayashi is self-taught in her practice, and has produced three-dimensional works that are conceived purely from the time and act of "stitching" countless threads, stones, beads and sequins. The title of this exhibition, "Unleash the Night," is a passage from a poem that she had written. It reflects the circumstances by which forms suddenly come to emerge before her eyes the very moment the last piece is stitched together, having until then continued to move her hands while drifting between consciousness and unconsciousness. The process of being in direct opposition to psychological and emotional aspects, to instead concentrate solely on the connecting of particles, can also be regarded as an act of perceiving something that does not in fact exist.


Perception and creativity coexist in Kobayashi's forms, which harbor a contingency that arises as a result of deviating from contemplation. Viewers find comfort in being liberated from interpretation, free from established rules and standards, and in her works discern the time that has been elaborately stitched together in painstaking care and detail. Crystals, which have passed through “time that appears as if re-experiencing the very structure of life,” while manifesting as a precise and continued succession of the artist’s handwork, at times comes to serve as part of a drum performance. In this exhibition, attempts are made to develop the elements embedded in the space between the individual works and the artist herself into a video and a new spatial structure. What can be discerned from this is the artist’s belief in a world and existences that can be experienced only by integrating that which can be seen and what remains concealed on the reverse, and her challenge in attempting to capture it as a phenomenon.


Day and night, light and darkness, reality and unreality, existence and non-existence, visible and invisible –the boundaries between them are perhaps more ambiguous than we think, and thus it may be natural to consider that the proportion of the former and the latter may indeed change from time to time. Kobayashi’s works also draw connections to the emotional activities that while long being a part of us, we have gradually started to forget. The works, created as if trying to facilitate a means of connecting and perceiving the world, and the act of performing while adorning oneself in them, inevitably evokes the power of “prayer” that has been inherited across all regions and eras. We welcome viewers to take this opportunity to witness the nodal points that the artist has created through connecting the horizon of "existence" and the particles that have fallen from "existence."


Nanao Kobayashi is self-taught in her practice, and while producing works that center upon the very act and time of “stitching,” also engages in activities as a musician. In her project titled “FATHER,” she has presented a series of live performances internationally, aimed at evoking fundamental musical experiences that shift between order and disorder. These two activities mutually interact, and are being developed while continuing to drift back and forth between one another, in the artist’s on-going pursuit to decipher the mystery of all things. Kobayashi currently lives and works in Tokyo.