Candy Girl by Yoshitaka Amano

  • exhibition-20230331121934.jpg

2023-04-15 ~ 2023-05-14


1F., No. 115, Sec. 4, Ren'ai Rd., Da'an Dist., Tai


Opening Reception|2023 . 04 . 22 sat. 3:00 p.m.


Candy Girl by Yoshitaka Amano

Curator|Weng Su-Ying
Cooperation|Amano Yoshitaka Office
Date|2023 . 04 . 15 - 2023 . 05 . 14
Opening Reception|2023 . 04 . 22 sat. 3:00 p.m.
Venue|Ever Harvest Art Gallery

Candy Girl is a world where time stands still. Because the girls are teenagers
15-17 years old, in this most wonderful years, I let them freeze.      - Yoshitaka Amano


Yoshitaka Amano (1952- ) one of the most influential artists, illustrators, and character designers in contemporary Japan, and is famous for his unique and dreamy, gorgeous and coquettish style. Since 1967, he has participated in the production of many classic games and animations, and is highly regarded in the Japanese art and animation circles. In the 1990s, he crossed the art circle and participated in the creation of multiple fields such as stage plays, movies, and animations. His works are filled with the fusion of Eastern and Western cultures and mythology, showing his rich and delicate imagination.


This exhibition, "Candy Girl by Yoshitaka Amano", held at Ever Harvest Art Gallery, is his long-awaited exhibition in Taiwan. The "Candy Girl" series was originally a series of graffiti works painted by Mr. Amano to relax in his spare time, and in the original plan, there were 108 "Candy Girls” in total.

Therefore, when Mr. Amano walks on the road and sees various girls of different ages and occupations, he subconsciously remembers these images, and then reproduces them in portraits of girls based on his memories. Including well-known characters he created or participated in designing, such as Tina, Alice, and Cecil from the Final Fantasy series; some are inspired by himself or his friends and relatives, such as Yuki and Natsu from the Candy Girl series; others are purely from his imagination, such as the Arabian princess and magician in the "1001 Nights" series.

All of these girls have their own characteristics and styles, but they all have something in common: they all have a strong Amano style with delicate features, a girlish slender figure, and minimal and colorful clothing or accessories. The girls all look vivid and charming, but they also have a sense of mystery and distance beyond the real world. Of course, Mr. Amano will also create artworks for specific regions. For example, in his solo exhibition at Modern Art Museum Shanghai in 2019, he created a series of "Shanghai Girl" to respond to his impressions of Shanghai girls in China.

The symbols of the girl in the portrait

When it comes to the girl in the portrait, the author intuitively thinks of the Japanese senior artist, Foujita Tsuguharu (1886-1968). The slightly delicate, small-eyed girls in Mr. Fujita's paintings and the dazzling, big-eyed girls in Amano's paintings have almost become completely different aspirations for "girls" in two different eras.

To a certain extent, both artists' images of young girls conform to the expectations and conventions of feminine aesthetics and emotional expression in the mainstream society at that time, but with the creators' self-restraint and reinterpretation, they present two distinctly different moods.

While the scale and tension of traditional portraits come from the expression of the subject's bust and her own style, the portraits of the "Candy Girl" series  are more like a digital camera hidden in the eyes of the artist. With a yellow square focus frame that cuts out excess depiction, and at the same time, the brightest look of each girl is recorded with Amano-style “filters” .

Mr. Amano once said that he didn't want to draw "cute" or "pretty" girls, but rather "beautiful" girls. He believed that "beauty" is something beyond appearance, a kind of "spiritual light" .The faces of the beautiful girls who originally seemed to be “templates",  through the artist's meticulous depiction of colors, accessories, and clothing, convey the complex, depth, variability and contradictory aspects of these girls, each of the moods is uncommon, unique and difficult to understand and empathized, also intuitively reflects Yoshitaka Amano's own understanding and pursuit of female aesthetics and emotional expression.

Amano-style whimsy and fantasy

In addition to the "Candy Girl" series, the exhibition also features several large-scale works from Mr. Amano's early and mid-periods are also exhibited, including "Madonna" exhibited in San Francisco in 2009, "Deva Loka 12" exhibited in 2012, "Fountain" exhibited at the Tokyo Art Fair in 2017, and "Carousel" exhibited at the JRA Racing Museum in Tokyo in 2018.

Among them, the protagonist in the painting "Modonna" is a sexy and charming villain female character from Mr. Amano's animation work “Yattaman" when he was working in the animation company - Tatsunoko Production. The remaining three works are all in Mr. Amano's original style from different periods of his career, and they show Amano's delicate painting style and profound theme descriptions. It’s worth mentioning that

The artwork "Fountain" in 2017 is particularly worth mentioning. As its name implies, This is one of the few works in which Mr. Amano does not use strong colors, but rather elegant water colors that flow in the picture. The goddess, like the birth of Venus, stands in the middle of picture, surrounded by maiden spirits and various gods and demons, The Kirin-like creature originally belonging to the fire attribute is in the picture with the only heavy color, which giving the whole work a sense of tension, and at the same time leading the audience to explore the fantasy feeling of the world under the water.


Mr. Amano, who now lives and works in New York, is still active in artistic creation and cross-disciplinary collaborations, especially in 2021, he was invited by Nichiren Buddhism in Kyoto, Japan, and spent one year to complete the most iconic painting, "Lotus Sutra", 189 cm in height and 151 cm in width.

It has been more than ten years since Mr. Amano had a solo exhibition in Taiwan, and this time, the "Candy Girl by Yoshitaka Amano" at Ever Harvest Art Gallery also specially brings a number of new "Candy Girl" series for fans in Taiwan.

Mr. Amano, who is already 70 years old, is still working tirelessly to portray the beautiful girls in his eyes, and to create their stories of youth.

Weng Su-Ying, early spring of 2023