Shindo Tsuji: From the trees to the earth

Feb 11, 2011

Shindo Tsuji: From the trees to the earth

In 1948, the respected Zen elder Ian Kishizawa told the sculptor Shindo Tsuji, “Forget whatever you can and express whatever remains.” Despite its enigmatic and paradoxical quality, this typically Zen-like admonition nevertheless manages to sum up the career of Tsuji (1910-1981), an important Japanese ...

Tadasu Takamine shocks us, yet again

Feb 4, 2011

Tadasu Takamine shocks us, yet again

In their endless efforts to make us see things in new ways and generally mess with our minds, contemporary conceptual artists such as Tadasu Takamine may often do more to distort their own view of the world than change the way the wider public ...

Hirayama: Paying simple tribute to the Silk Road

Jan 28, 2011

Hirayama: Paying simple tribute to the Silk Road

Recently Stephen Fry’s BBC comedy quiz show “QI,” was in trouble over panelist’s comments regarding Tsutomu Yamaguchi, a survivor of both atomic bombs dropped on Japan. Amid generally admiring chit chat about Yamaguchi, panelists treated the bombings with a degree of levity typical of ...

Following Monet to the country

Jan 14, 2011

Following Monet to the country

The charm of Impressionism was that it allowed a great deal of artistic freedom and expressiveness without losing touch with realism. A good Impressionist painting allows us to recognize a scene, while encouraging us to see it in new ways. This quality of blending ...

The Kandinsky narcissistic blues

Jan 7, 2011

The Kandinsky narcissistic blues

Anyone who has seen the unrefined figurative works of Mark Rothko can easily understand why he later turned to his abstract Color Field works. Because of examples like this, there is always a suspicion that abstract art is merely the last refuge of the ...

Meet some famous Japanese ghosts of publishing

Dec 24, 2010

Meet some famous Japanese ghosts of publishing

We live in interesting times. Because of the Internet, old familiar media formats are breaking down or going through changes. More and more printed word publications are going out of business or finding new life online. The old LP/album format is essentially an anachronism ...

Today's artists 'paint' a new vision of 2-d art

Dec 17, 2010

Today's artists 'paint' a new vision of 2-d art

The term “Primary Field” can either mean a group of aspirant candidates (in the United States) or an idea from physics that most laymen will find hard to understand; so the title of the “Primary Field II” exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art ...

When followers outdo the master

Dec 10, 2010

When followers outdo the master

R. D. Laing, the leading light of the 1960s anti-psychiatry movement, believed that mental illnesses were natural responses to the unnatural stresses and strains of modern life. Something similar can be said about Surrealist art, which, at times, seems like an artistic reaction to ...

Dec 3, 2010

The Chick Corea Trio

Is it possible to be creative by only emphasizing the positives? Jazz legend and keyboard tinkler extraordinaire Chick Corea certainly thinks so as he prepares for what has effectively become an annual visit to Japan with a number of shows lined up at Tokyo’s ...