Moe Nakamura portrait infront of wooden sculpture

Moe Nakamura

1 collaboration

Moe Nakamura portrait infront of wooden sculpture

Moe Nakamura

Hopeful wood sculptures reminisce on youth

“I would like to work by believing in the faint light that lurks in what seems to be only darkness.”

Moe Nakamura believes in hope. “From the moment we are born, the only way to establish ourselves is by believing in a world that has already been created by others." Optimistically, she believes in the world but she’s also critical of how it could be better. Nakamura is inspired by Japanese folklore, nature and kawaii figures – soft and plastic toys similar to anime characters which are often brightly coloured with exaggerated expressions. In part, they remind her of her childhood and play. These nods to contemporary culture, along with Nakamura’s use of social media, contrast with her use of...

Moe Nakamura believes in hope. “From the moment we are born, the only way to establish ourselves is by believing in a world that has already been created by others." Optimistically, she believes in the world but she’s also critical of how it could be better. Nakamura is inspired by Japanese folklore, nature and kawaii figures – soft and plastic toys similar to anime characters which are often brightly coloured with exaggerated expressions. In part, they remind her of her childhood and play. These nods to contemporary culture, along with Nakamura’s use of social media, contrast with her use of traditional Japanese carving. This is a tension at the heart of her work. The old and the new endlessly collide.

Nakamura’s intricate carvings from Camphor wood are, at times, whimsical. She uses the unique notches of each log to mimic the texture of real skin. She then reduces each piece of wood, using hand-saws, carving knives and chisels. They are all hand-painted with oil paint, and usually between 2.5ft-3ft tall. The figures have vulnerable, child-like expressions. In fact, she bases their faces on her own. But their innocence doubles back, asking – how do we retain simplicity in a world of over-saturation?

Bio

Moe Nakamura (she/her) was born in 1988 in Tokyo. She lives and practices in Tokyo, Japan, where she works from a small studio.

Education

Nakamura did both a Bachelor's and Master’s of Fine art at Joshibi University. She graduated from the Department of Painting in 2010 and 2012, respectively.

Career

She has taken part in over forty international shows since 2012. Nakamura has exhibited in Rome, London, Jakarta and Taipei.