門田 奈々 Nana MONDA

2022.5.20 – 6.18


Blooming Flowers in the land of fire     

―Contemporary bijinga by Monda Nana


It’s famous that Takehisa Yumeji’s bijinga is influenced by Shanghai Artist Fengzikai. He has made great achievements in the field of design and binding. He made a good balance between bijinga and design. He is an important creator in the history of Japanese design.

In the world of Japanese bijinga, Itou Sinsui, Kaburaki kiyokata, Uemura Syoen are always remembered.

National Art Museum is holding the 50th anniversary of Kaburaki Kiyokata’s death exhibition, Totally 109 paintings are being exhibited, including three artworks “Shintomi Town”(1930), “Hamacho River Bank” (1930) and “Tsukiji Akashi Town” (1927).

So, is Monda Nana’s figure painting bijinga? Her works can be a kind of contemporary bijinga that implies conservative, serious, stubborn and introverted. There is traditional blank space in her painting,but the background it is not classical,she like to put the flowers, birds and the moon.Thouse beauty in her painting has long neck and resolute eyes, gorgeous flowers around the head. Since she moved to Kumamoto, the land of fire naturally inspired her,  the seemingly fragile but powerful vitality of contemporary women is nakedly displayed.

Me and Monda met at the group exhibition of Artist Group C-DEPO in Shanghai more than 10 years ago. This spring I met her again at Kumamoto, the fate of the fate made us connected again. Although I proposed to hold her solo exhibition in Shanghai , strange changes began to occur in Shanghai this March. The gallery had to close from March 16th .We switched the exhibition to Tokyo space.

Shanghai has been locktown since April 1, and it is unclear when it will be end. Now if  one person got COVID the entire apartment will be taken into quarantine, How unreasonable this is, I can’t understand.

What kind of power can you feel in the awe-inspiring female figures in Monda’s works? I missed Tokyo in early summer and lost the whole spring in Shanghai. But I got healed from Monda Nana’s works.


About the artist

門田 奈々

1980 Born in Fukuoka

2004 Received a bachelor’s degree from the school of design

Tokyo National University of fine arts and music

Now working and living in Kumamoto.


Nana Monda has been drawing works on the theme of women from the beginning. Her work is composed in harmony with the female image by drawing “flowers” to match the female image that is her motif. The complex relationship between inner emotions and beautiful appearances such as beauty and ugliness, strength and weakness, softness and rigidity, calmness and fear, are properly expressed in the artist’s pen.


She was shocked by the natural sculpture and beauty of color when she moved to Kumamoto, changing her style to use her current colorful and vibrant colors. After that, in 2014, he won the New Face Award at the National Art Center, Tokyo, and was selected for the Kumamoto “Drawing Power” 2014 Grand Prix.


In recent years, Kadida has started to create related series inspired by the “Higo (old name of Kumamoto) Rokka (six flowers)” that have been cherished since the Edo period in Kumamoto since the Edo period. Hosokawa Shigekata (1721–1785), the sixth Hosokawa lord of Kumamoto, was an enthusiastic natural historian. Due to the lord’s methodical cultivation of local varieties and an extensive collection of botanical books, planting and appreciating flowers became a desirable gentlemanly accomplishment, and samurai in Kumamoto competed to grow the most beautiful specimens. The artist places traditional flowers and women in traditional costumes in the picture, hiding their real-life background; exaggerated slender necks and warm jade-like faces, seem to coexist harmoniously with flowers in nature, but at the same time, the unavoidable sense of strangeness and alienation are also lingering on in the work. The fate and identity of the woman behind the picture have become a mystery.

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