“Vessel That Never Leaks”

扉を探す Looking for a door 2011 acrylic,dye,gesso on canvas φ90.0 cm ©Nana Funo


Matière is outstanding in Nana Funo’s work. She paints acrylic on the base, draws with pens, applies gesso to create stain and gradation, and adds motifs with acrylic paint again. These layers, produced by repetitive masking, embrace decorative patterns, animals and plants, figures, landscapes and written characters, and appear in incomparable texture.
Her delicate and repetitive motifs are like endless kaleidoscope that makes one feel almost dizzy. Both in a large painting of 4 m shown in her solo exhibition Who Knows the Stories (2009, Tomio Koyama Gallery Kyoto) and in 108 pieces of small paintings of 20 x 20 cm shown in Imagination on the Grass (2009, TKG Editions Kyoto), the intensity and concentration were the same, while the characteristic and depth of each painting varied. This indicates that Funo, who draws inspirations from the imaginary and fantastic worlds she has indulged since childhood, has unlimited capacity of imagination and strength of knowing how she can express them.
Funo’s drawing notebooks, other inspiration source, carry the same intensity. Like a diary, she keeps feelings in daily life and things that stay in her mind, all of which will potentially grow into paintings.


Inspirations fly away if not being kept by a pen or a brush. To hold it, one needs a receiver, like a vessel. Funo describes this in a conversation with an artist: If I don’t keep the things that are floating in drawing or paining, they will disappear. Nothing left. It feels like trying to scoop water with hands in a desert. Drips will soon disappear in the dry sand…I feel that I have always been looking for firm vessel that never leaks and keep things immediately.
The exhibition presents various paintings from large one over 5 m to small pieces of 20 x 20cm. Also the drawing notebooks described above, namely “vessel that never leaks”, will be also on the view for the first time at the exhibition.

Artist Profile

Nana Funo

Nana Funo was born in 1983 in Shizuoka Prefecture. She graduated from Osaka University of Arts, Japan (BFA) in 2006 and completed the Graduate Kyoto City University of Arts, Kyoto, Japan (MFA) in 2008. She currently lives and works in Shizuoka. Her major solo exhibitions include “Nana Funo” (Roppongi Hills A/D GALLERY, Tokyo, Japan, 2010), “howl of green” (Itamuro Onsen Daikokuya, Nasushiobara, Tochigi, Japan, 2012). She has held 8 solo exhibitions with Tomio Koyama Gallery.
Her major group exhibitions include “VOCA 2009 The Vision of Contemporary Art” (The Ueno Royal Museum, Tokyo, Japan, 2009) and “The Way of Painting” (Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery, Tokyo, Japan, 2014). Funo’s works are housed in the collections of Aman Tokyo, The JAPIGOZZI Collection, MONTBLANC and GBU Japan, Takahashi Collection and Takamatsu City Museum of Art.