Yoh Nagao is a pop collage artist from Aichi Prefecture, Japan and has been based in Berlin since April 2012. After graduating from Nagoya Zokei University (Japan), he began working as a graphic designer and illustrator, while freely expressing his unique style as an artist.
He gained prominence in Japan after receiving the Uniqlo Creative Award in 2005 (now UTGP), exhibiting at the International Poster Triennial in Toyama, and being selected for the SHIFT calendar design contest. His achievements in international competitions led Yoh to expand his work overseas while becoming a serious contender on the international art stage. In 2008, his work was displayed in the famous boutique shop Colette in Paris. After a successful first-ever solo exhibition in Hong Kong in 2009, he received an honourable mention in the collage category for the international competition ARTAQ Urban Art Award (France) in 2011 and was invited to participate in the PICK ME UP Contemporary Graphic Art Fair held in London that same year.
Since then, his pieces have been showcased in numerous art fairs and events in Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Zurich, Berlin, Paris, Angers, London and Tokyo. His work has also been published in high profile magazines, such as Nakedbutsafe (Germany), Lodown (Germany), Dazed and Confused (England), and DPI (Taiwan). In the summer of 2014, in Isla Mujeres (Mexico), he collaborated with the project SEA WALLS by PangeaSeed (USA), creating an outdoor mural with the artist Aaron Glasson (New Zealand) that was showcased in the Huffington Post and the New York Times online. He was also selected by the organisation World Art Destinations as one of the 30 artists who took part in the Festival International de Arte Público in Cancún, Mexico, where he created an installation of a 100 multi-coloured paper planes that captivated the Festival's audience. Back in Japan, his art works were selected to depict the popular JRA Chukyo Racecourse in Japan for 2015, where his art was widely showcased in the subway network of Nagoya.
Nagao’s pieces, exhibitions and artistic collaborations have steadily gained specialized but also wide public appreciation, confirming the rising value of his unique style and endless creativity, which is being recognized all over the world.
In our modern society, we are facing so many issues such as war, sickness, natural disasters, loss of natural resources, threats to the environment, lack of food, etc. The situation is getting more and more difficult. The world is totally losing its balance and we may lose the chance to recover from these challenges. We must realize that the sole pursuit of wealth and ideology cannot manage our modern lifestyles on this planet. Humankind will collapse if the situation continues the same way. However, under this trying time, I believe that art can change our world into a better place.
In my art, I use figures, animals and landscapes to expresses love, happiness, warmness, pleasure and elation—invisible emotional feelings, which are difficult to describe in words. The recognition and celebration of these joyful feelings is far too little in today’s world. I believe that these intangible expressions of happiness and love are crucial to elevate our society and are important to recognize under the wake of constant sadness, loss and destruction. My aim is to tell these things to the people through my art, which is not only my way of connecting with society, but also my mission as an artist.