The National Art Center, Tokyo and Fondation Cartier pour l’Art Contemporain to present Damien Hirst, Cherry Blossoms, the artist’s first major solo exhibition in Japan, opening on 2nd March and running until 23rd May 2022.
The National Art Center, Tokyo is surrounded by cherry trees which attract a host of visitors every spring when the trees are in bloom. In Japan cherry blossoms are considered an emblem of the country and have inspired artists throughout history.
Damien Hirst said:
“The Cherry Blossoms are about beauty and life and death. They’re extreme—there’s something almost tacky about them. Like Jackson Pollock twisted by love. They’re decorative but taken from nature. They’re about desire and how we process the things around us and what we turn them into, but also about the insane visual transience of beauty—a tree in full crazy blossom against a clear sky. It’s been so good to make them, to be completely lost in colour and in paint in my studio. They’re garish and messy and fragile and about me moving away from Minimalism and the idea of an imaginary mechanical painter and that’s so exciting for me.”
The Cherry Blossom paintings were presented for the first time at the Fondation Cartier in Paris from July 2021 – January 2022.
Working across sculpture, installation, painting and drawing, Hirst explores themes connected to life and death, excess and fragility. If sculpture earned him an important reputation in his early years, painting has always played an essential role in his work. Started after an ambitious sculpture project, Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable, that took 10 years to make, the Cherry Blossoms series marks the artist’s return to solitary work in his studio. He works on several canvases at the same time, constantly returning to some he keeps close by, months after their completion. After devoting three full years to the series, Hirst finished the Cherry Blossoms series of 107 paintings in November 2020.
Organised by The National Art Center, Tokyo; Fondation Cartier pour l’Art Contemporain Co-organised by: Nikkei Inc.
Damien Hirst, Cherry Blossoms 2nd March – 23rd May 2022 at The National Art Center, Tokyo