The Untitled Drawing Club: Week 12

Welcome to the final week of the Untitled Drawing Club! As this will be my last entry, at the end of the post I will be sharing all my artworks and how I’ve decided to store them. Before then, we have one more museum to visit – Nakamura Keith Haring Collection located in Yamanashi, Japan. There is plenty to be inspired by at this museum so I’m glad I had the opportunity to ‘virtually’ visit. Similar to other posts, I will start by sharing an overview of the museum, then move on to writing about the links provided by the Club and, finally, sharing my artwork.

Nakamura Keith Haring Collection

The name of this museum is a combination of Kazuo Nakamura, who established the collection and is its Director, and Keith Haring, an American artist. It is the only museum in the world dedicated to collecting and displaying the works of American artist, Keith Haring. If you don’t know who this is, I’ll share a few of his works later. In short, he was an artist who practiced in New York during the 1980s. The reason behind collecting his works in Japan is revealed on the museum’s website. Nakamura was drawn to Haring’s works due to their themes of peace, freedom, hopes and dreams.

Nakamura originally graduated from the School and Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Kyoto University, in the late 1960s. After working on a few medication development projects including the drug Mevalotin (helps to lower blood pressure), he became the CEO of CMIC (a pharmaceutical Contract Research Organisation). In 2007, Nakamura changed directions slightly and opened the Nakamura Keith Haring Collection appointing himself as the Collection Director.

There is a great timeline on their webiste that takes you back to 2007 and basically lists all the major awards and achievements that have been accumulated since then. There are so many awards and it is amazing to see how this museum extends beyond displaying artworks. For example, in 2008, the museum assisted with distributing condoms and pamphlets about HIV/AIDS at night clubs in Tokyo as part of the REAL-Living Together Club Campaign for World AIDS Day. Haring suffered from AIDS himself and was very vocal about increasing AIDS awareness in the 80s and fighting for research, support, etc. The museum has been involved with numerous campaigns and events on the topics of AIDS since then.

I also want to mention 2016 because it seems as though the museum went through a time of expanding its reach to new audiences. For example, there was a four days of DJ nights event that had four local DJs play music up-late in the museum. Then, and my personal favourite, a Halloween workshop was held later in the year.

Before moving on to the links provided by the Club, I want to briefly discuss the architecture of the building. It is supposed to reflect the times that Haring lived through – chaos and hope, dark and light. The museum underwent renovations in 2015, building an extension that will hold exhibitions displaying works of artists who have been inspired by Haring. One of the Club’s links takes you to the exterior of the museum where you can see for yourself the incredible architecture.

Keith Haring’s Artworks

Here are a few works by Haring that appear on the museum’s website under ‘Collection’. To see more, click here.

Club Links

The four links for this week’s club take you to some Google map views of two different exhibition spaces and the outside of the building.

When looking at the exhibitions, I was amazed at the physical space. That goal of playing with light and dark most definitely is reflected in the museum. The use of natural wood flooring and stark white walls is a Scandi-vibe that has a special place in my heart.

I zoomed around the rooms looking at the artworks and drawing inspiration for my own artwork I’ll share shortly. The two elements that inspired me are pictured below – the wall with different shapes painted on and the red sculpture.

My Artwork

I decided to draw my own wall of shapes and cross stitch the red sculpture – but a smaller version of the sculpture. I wanted it to reflect how all-consuming the wall looks in the exhibition space.

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In terms of drawing, this one has been the most fun to create.

So there we have it, the final Untitled Drawing Club! It has been so wonderful to have something to look forward to each Monday. Huge thanks to Alexis Winter for creating the club and providing the inspiration each week. To finish, here are all my works from Week 1 to Week 12. Enjoy!

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