Organized by Nakamura Keith Haring Collection, Special Thanks to The Keith Haring Foundation, CMIC HOLDINGS Co., Ltd.
2022 makes the 15th year since the opening of the Nakamura Keith Haring Collection.
In April 2007, the museum opened its doors at the foot of the Yatsugatake Mountains as the only museum in the world to principally exhibit the artworks of Keith Haring. The collector and founder, Kazuo Nakamura, started collecting in 1987 when he saw Three Lithographs (People Ladder)*1 by Haring in New York. Today, in addition to our collection of more than 300 artworks, our archives expand to more than 500 pieces of document photographs, videos, and items produced before his death in 1990. In this exhibition, 150 works out of the collection are on display, including our newest acquisition, Untitled*3.
1.Three Lithographs (People Ladder), 1985 “It is a comic-like lithograph work of people balancing themselves on each other’s shoulders. The simplicity gave me a sense of humanity and energy.” Kazuo Nakamura on the first work he ever purchased of Haring’s.
This exhibition revisits and reimagines the concept of our first exhibition, “from chaos to hope.” In 1978’s New York, in the dawn of Hip Hop, Haring moved to the city and was electrified by its underground parties where artists and minorities huddled together against the current of the mainstream heteronormative and White dominant culture. In a short span of 5 years since then, Haring shoots to stardom; however, while flying all over the globe, he comes face to face with the “AIDS” diagnosis. He eventually loses his battle to the unknown infection and leaves this world at 31 years old. Behind Haring’s playful style of work, widely popular to this date, his plea and inner struggle in the chaotic society and strong wish for hope and freedom are also present in his works.
2.Icons (Radiant Baby), 1990 This baby is one of the silkscreen series of Haring’s five most-recognizable icons.
3.Untitled, 1984 The latest acquisition on display for the first time in Japan. The work evokes human desire and celebration of life.
To survive the world in 2022, we can still look to Haring’s art from the 80s for tips. Because of the COVID-19 Pandemic and Russian invasion of Ukraine, our world had turned upside down. They brought our long-suppressed political frustrations and neglected social issues to the surface. We are now in need of more diverse perspectives. In a society where chaos and order and loss and hope coexist, we are already standing at the fork in the road, having to figure out which route to take.
4.Untitled (Aug. 15th, 1988), 1988 Created for the last exhibition. In contrast to Haring’s usual impromptu drawing style, he aimed to create the masterpiece using techniques he learned in his lifetime.
5.Untitled (Subway Drawing) Subway Drawings, 1981-83, White chalk on black paper mounted on the original subway billboard
All Keith Haring Artwork ©Keith Haring Foundation
Courtesy of Nakamura Keith Haring Collection.