The making of a market center

Apr 10, 2008

The making of a market center

Almost everything was sold before he even arrived at Art Fair Tokyo, but that didn’t stop gallerist Peter Nagy from coming to Japan anyway. The impulse to dip his toes into what could become contemporary art’s next deep pool was just too strong to ...

One huge fan of civilization

Apr 3, 2008

One huge fan of civilization

As long as you’ve at least half a sleepy eye slightly focused on popular culture, you’ve seen his art work, even if you never go to galleries. Up until two years ago, he’d never even shown in one, at least not the ones where ...

Apr 3, 2008

Orphan and the Old Single

Yamamoto Gendai, Tokyo’s Shirokane Closes April 19 The hamster has returned. The worried hamster, the angry hamster, the sexy hamster. The very very human hamster. Kyoto-based artist Sako Kojima has filled Yamamoto Gendai gallery’s spacious new Shirokane location with her trademark rodents, all of ...

VOCA: A look at the state of 2-D

Mar 27, 2008

VOCA: A look at the state of 2-D

Given the profusion of events lined up for next week, it’s easy to believe that Tokyo is going through a contemporary art renaissance. Since the opening of the Mori Art Museum in 2003, contemporary art has arguably enjoyed a higher profile than it has ...

Making modern Japan

Mar 13, 2008

Making modern Japan

The suspension of disbelief required by kabuki is massive, making the possibility of a play failing to express its intended meanings always imminent. Rather than show you reality, kabuki tries to convey its most important messages in abstract and stylized portrayals of emotions, events ...

The mathematics of music

Mar 6, 2008

The mathematics of music

So forward-looking that it’s hard to categorize him — Is he an artist? A musician? A conceptualist? — Ryoji Ikeda makes the music that we’ll lull the robots to sleep with when they ultimately try to take over. Or that we’ll use to convince ...

Human reeds swaying in a museum maze

Feb 28, 2008

Human reeds swaying in a museum maze

It’s dangerous to talk to an artist. Whatever you think of their art, after a conversation with them, you are bound to walk away intrigued, enchanted — maybe even disgusted (which isn’t necessarily bad) — but mostly, hopefully, enlightened by a new understanding of ...

Feb 21, 2008

"Sarah Sze"

Maison Hermes 8th Floor, “Le Forum” Closes May 11 What a mess. What a brilliant mess. Thirty-eight year-old American artist Sarah Sze has turned Maison Hermes 8th Floor “Le Forum” exhibition space in Tokyo’s Ginza into a giant rec room. While the artists at ...

Tilting the balance back to darkness

Jan 31, 2008

Tilting the balance back to darkness

In the minds of casual observers, Japan is simple. Between lovers of tradition and those enraptured by Japan’s quirky window into an urban future, it’s either the former land of austere, honorable warriors or the current one of air-headed, emotionally overwrought manga characters. But ...

Jan 17, 2008

"Kazuharu Ishikawa: Dear friends"

Yukari Art Contemporary Much like his work, Kazuharu Ishikawa is hard to forget. A human exclamation point, the Tama Art University graduate sports a shaved head with a single spike of hair extending 30 cm straight up in celebration of the line. A single ...