Born in Aomori Prefecture in 1959. After completing his graduate degree in Japan, Nara went to Germany to study at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf and later to work in Cologne. He moved back to Japan in 2000 and has since exhibited in a number of major solo shows nationally and internationally. In addition to his striking paintings and drawings featuring figures who look as though they are staring back at the viewer, he has been making sculptures in wood since early in his career, and more recently with other materials including FRP, clay, and bronze. Since 2007, Nara has been creating ceramic works at the Shigaraki Ceramic Cultural Park. The first major showing of his ceramic works took place at the Tomio Koyama Gallery (Tokyo) in 2010. In his 2012-2013 touring solo show titled “NARA Yoshitomo：a bit like you and me…” (Yokohama Museum of Art/Aomori Museum of Art/Contemporary Art Museum Kumamoto), the artist exhibited large scale bronze sculptures for the first time in public.