Digital, rough and maybe deadly

Sep 18, 2008

Digital, rough and maybe deadly

Zaim is dirty. The floor is scuffed, the windows old, the building a strange maze of rooms with low ceilings. Compared to the slick show on a couple blocks away at this year’s Yokohama Triennale, the exhibition space that used to be a government ...

'Masaki Ogihara'

Sep 18, 2008

'Masaki Ogihara'

Gallery Hashimoto Closes Sept. 27 This past weekend, the 11th version of Geisai, Takashi Murakami’s art spectacle, attracted nearly 1,000 young artists who assembled their own stalls in Odaiba’s Tokyo Big Sight, home of the similar DesignFesta. While there was a lot to see, ...

More far-flung festival fun at Sado Island's Earth Celebration

Aug 29, 2008

More far-flung festival fun at Sado Island's Earth Celebration

Niigata grannies munching on bento lunch boxes, tattooed Tokyo roughnecks pounding beers, an ex-military man in from London with two Shanghaiese kung-fu sisters: taiko (Japanese drum) troupe Kodo’s annual Earth Celebration on Sado Island this past weekend drew an eclectic crowd. This year the ...

Aug 21, 2008

'Parallel Worlds'

Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo Closes Sept. 28 Someone recently told me they find it hard to think in the Tokyo summer heat. In the cool of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo’s current exhibition, “Parallel Worlds,” they won’t have to while perusing this ...

Olodum at Earth Celebration

| Jun 19, 2008

Olodum at Earth Celebration

After last year’s all-star lineup for Earth Celebration’s 20th birthday, this year taiko drumming troupe Kodo mark the 100th anniversary of Japanese immigration to Brazil by inviting Olodum from the Brazilian state of Bahia to headline. An Afro-Brazilian culture group, Olodum started out in ...

Torifune celebrate the birth of butoh's founder

Jun 5, 2008

Torifune celebrate the birth of butoh's founder

Last month in his ongoing series Japanese Cinema Eclectics, author Donald Ritchie screened “Horrors of Malformed Men” (Toei, 1969). An “unsung classic” of Japanese film, “Horrors” features the only cinematic performance of Tatsumi Hijikata, the founder of the butoh dance movement. Hijikata, who would ...

The last splash of spring

May 29, 2008

The last splash of spring

Tokyo’s multifaceted gallery scene usually slows down a bit in the summer, so May has seen a whack of openings across the city. At Nichido Contemporary Art ( www.nca-g.com ) in Chuo Ward’s Hatchobori, critic and writer Kentaro Ichihara has curated a show loosely ...

Butoh — Omnivorous and best not defined

May 15, 2008

Butoh — Omnivorous and best not defined

In a small studio in Kichijoji, a director is telling three dancers that their heads are potatoes rolling around on a plate. And their three bald pates, poking up through a single piece of cardboard that holds them together, certainly have the appearance of ...

An aura of controversy in the chase for the new

May 8, 2008

An aura of controversy in the chase for the new

Ever since 1917, when Marcel Duchamp submitted a urinal to the Society of Independent Artists’ exhibition, arguing that it was art, anything has become acceptable. Artist Chris Burden shot himself in the arm in a Los Angeles gallery in 1971; Piero Manzoni canned what ...

Halls of light in a city of horses

May 1, 2008

Halls of light in a city of horses

Something for everyone — that seems to be the motto for the new Towada Art Center in Aomori Prefecture. With cash in hand and a desire to see their town turn around, Towada has banked on art as a way to bring back vitality ...