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James Jack

For James Jack's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

All aboard the art train to Ichihara

Apr 16, 2014

All aboard the art train to Ichihara

Just after the train departs, a passenger falls to the floor. Further down the small train carriage another person follows suit. “Ma’am, are you sane?” questions a female announcer over the loudspeaker. The diesel train chugs forward. A young man asks, “Mom where did ...

Darren Almond: All things pass

Jan 8, 2014

Darren Almond: All things pass

A wall of 450 flip-clocks all display 15:26 in the entryway to “Second Thoughts” at Contemporary Art Gallery, Art Tower Mito. Seconds pass … CLICK, all synchronized to the minute. The sound of 15:27 is so overwhelming it’s surprising to see only one digit ...

The effervescence of artist He Xiangyu

Oct 30, 2013

The effervescence of artist He Xiangyu

He Xiangyu is a conceptualist with a clear vision of the world as a philosophical playground. The critical language employed in his artworks quotes from global consumerism, Americanism and militarism, emphasizing the power of infinitesimal change. He uses the shape of a leaf to ...

Art fiction that keeps our thinking adept

Aug 28, 2013

Art fiction that keeps our thinking adept

What is the connection between Kampala in Uganda, Fukushima in Japan and New Orleans in America? Tsuyoshi Ozawa links these seemingly disparate places in his ongoing series “Vegetable Weapons”. The shape of a gun is formed out of local vegetables and photographed, before it’s ...

Unearthing the Seto Inland Sea's social landscapes

Mar 28, 2013

Unearthing the Seto Inland Sea's social landscapes

Whenever traveling directly from one island in the Seto Inland Sea to another, I sense threads holding each one to the other. Perhaps this is a vestige of the trade routes that traversed the 700-plus islands in this scenic region between Hiroshima and Osaka. ...

Tadasu Takamine's not so 'Cool Japan'

Feb 7, 2013

Tadasu Takamine's not so 'Cool Japan'

In May 2011, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry promoted the idea of “Cool Japan,” presenting Japanese culture as a product amid the confusing circumstances after the Great East Japan Earthquake. As Japan continues to suffer a declining population and weak economy, it ...

When the connections are as crucial as the art

Jan 17, 2013

When the connections are as crucial as the art

Amid the hurry of daily life it is easy to forget what lies below our feet. To most of us, it may appear to be just cement or dirt, but to artist Kenji Yamada there are profound mysteries contained on the ground, in things ...

Energy multiplies creative potential at Trans Arts Tokyo

Nov 15, 2012

Energy multiplies creative potential at Trans Arts Tokyo

Spanning seventeen floors of a building that was once part of Tokyo Denki University in Kanda, the Trans Arts Tokyo project is bursting with exhibitions, talk events and workshops, open laboratories and artists-in-residence studios. The massive temporary art space is the latest work by ...