Easily one of the most important Japanese artists of the recent past, Yoshitomo Nara (born 1959) has rocketed to worldwide fame for his darkly whimsical figures that put a creepy twist on childhood ingenuousness. For his 2009 exhibition at the Reykjavik Art Museum, Nara presented his works within the wooden shipping crates in which they had been transported to the museum. Pictures were hung on the outside of the crates, and figures lurked within their interior nooks. This beautifully produced board book records and continues the show's themes of containment and transportation: it features windows that can be opened to reveal the youthful figures ensconced within their confinements, waiting to be freed by the participation of the reader.
Yoshitomo Nara was born in 1959, in Aomori, Japan. He is one of the leading artists of Japan's Neo Pop movement. His drawings and paintings are informed by a range of influences, from manga and anime to punk rock. He has also worked in sculpture, ceramic and large-scale installation. In the fall of 2010, the Asia Society in New York presented the first major New York exhibition of his work.