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NAOYA: The Wonderverse of POLYKANTEN




Thursday, 28 September 2017 to Saturday, 28 October 2017
Thursday, 28 September 2017 - 6:00pm to 8:00pm

NAOYA: The Wonderverse of POLYKANTEN
September 28 – October 28, 2017
Opening Reception: Thursday, September 28, 6-8pm
Onishi Gallery: 521 W 26th Street, New York, NY 10001

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Onishi Gallery is pleased to present The Wonderverse of POLYKANTEN by NAOYA, a solo exhibition of fantastical artwork based on the mystery of space science and a reconceptualization of Japanese artistic tradition. This exhibition, featuring futuristic sculptural figures and multi-media interaction, fuses reality with imagination through aesthetic projections of otherworldly beings. Gleaming white characters from alternate realities face viewers with aplomb, provoking questions of otherness and inspiring visions of encounter.

In the tradition of famed Japanese arts, NAOYA’s artwork blurs the line between fiction and life history. Japanese author Haruki Murakami writes stories of supernatural fantasy that are filled with the familiar, mundane details of our everyday lives. His characters exist in multiple worlds, known and unknown, uniting impossibility with inevitability. Like Murakami, NAOYA’s sculptural characters emerge from magical narratives that lure viewers into worlds of mystery, tempting our universal desires to commune with the Other.

Today, NAOYA populates the imaginary world that he designs, which he calls POLYKANTEN, with fairy-like children, animals with human personalities, and animistic goddesses. The creatures are all related, he says, though each one has its own reason for being. A main character, PEPO, loves marshmallows, is an only child, shy, and can dance. PEPO travels freely through space-time, traverses the many different planes of the universes, and has a head visually represented by the Pepo-Kabocha, a type of squash. The symbolic meanings of the characters’ visual forms reveal themselves as one learns more about their personalities and roles in the multiverse narrative. PEPO is accompanied by TOKO-chan, who loves apple pie, picture books, and is slightly stubborn; KIKO-chan, who gets cold and lonely easily, and dreams of befriending a cat on Earth; P-chan, who loves candy, taking walks, is resolute and sisterly; and many more. These unique characters all hail from the world of POLYKANTEN, this parallel place where boundaries and dimensions are fuzzy, chaos and order seem synonymous, and creative innovation seems unbounded.

The monochromatic figures, painted entirely in white, stare at viewers with curious and blank expressions, begging for questions about the other worldly places they occupy. Believing in the possibility and potential of multiple universes, NAOYA creates these characters to visit with us here on Earth. And, in this special exhibition, we have a fleeting moment in which to meet them and dream ourselves into another world through honed artistic skill and sharpened imagination.

For more information, please contact Nana Onishi at 212-695-8035 / Or, please visit the gallery website at


Artist ( Description ): 

As a young boy in Japan, NAOYA began his artistic career by assisting his father, Nagae Rokuya, an important artist who specialized in figurative wooden sculpture. He has since cultivated his own unique style and artistic concepts, but uses representational figures rather than abstraction to represent his own philosophical world due to this early training. This imaginary world, called POLYKANTEN, is populated by fairy-like children, animals with human personalities, and animistic goddesses. According to NAOYA, the creatures are all related, although each has their own raison d’être. It is the interactions among these creatures that spawns other creatures, so the POLYKANTEN universe is constantly evolving and growing.
Learn more about NAOYA & POLYKANTEN -

Venue ( Address ): 

521 W 26th Street, Basement
New York, NY 10001

Onishi Gallery , New York

Other events from Onishi Gallery

Susumu Notomi: Tales of Blue Pottery
11/15/2018 to 11/28/2018
Opening Reception | Yuji Obata: Sakura, Grace of Nature
11/13/2018 to 11/28/2018
Opening Reception | Shun Sudo: Innocent Forest
09/27/2018 to 10/20/2018
Opening Reception | Koshu Endo: Faces of the Moon
09/11/2018 to 09/22/2018



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