The art of photography

Sep 20, 2012

The art of photography

This weekend sees the fourth installment of “Tokyo Photo” — Japan’s first international photography fair, and now the biggest event of its kind in Asia. Since its inception in 2009, the fair has cast its net wide, and this year has more than 35 ...

Japan's one-time rebellious artistic vanguard

Jul 26, 2012

Japan's one-time rebellious artistic vanguard

The term “art group” barely does justice to the collective of artists in postwar Japan known as Gutai. Founded in 1954 by Jiro Yoshihara, the group renegotiated the borders of art, incorporating performance, installation and even the natural environment into their creations. Bringing together ...

Max Ernst: The artist who raised eyebrows with 'pictorial' texture

Jun 14, 2012

Max Ernst: The artist who raised eyebrows with 'pictorial' texture

Despite several major exhibitions of his work that have been held in Japan since the 1970s, Max Ernst is still widely considered here to be one of the most difficult and obscure of the Surrealists. Constantly exploring new ideas, methods and materials, his art ...

Apr 19, 2012

Looking beyond the giant canvases

The image of Jackson Pollock as the archetypal American artist, making big gestures on giant canvases, is firmly entrenched in the public consciousness. Dripping paint on canvases laid out on the floor, working in rather than working on his art, Pollock epitomizes the rebellious ...

Looking beyond the giant canvases

Apr 19, 2012

Looking beyond the giant canvases

The image of Jackson Pollock as the archetypal American artist, making big gestures on giant canvases, is firmly entrenched in the public consciousness. Dripping paint on canvases laid out on the floor, working in rather than working on his art, Pollock epitomizes the rebellious ...

When the 'City of Water' was a font of culture

Oct 13, 2011

When the 'City of Water' was a font of culture

From the Byzantine times in the 9th century, Venice was a strategic trading center straddling Europe and the East. Venetian merchants traded wool and silk textiles for spices, grains and other commodities from Asia, making the city — and the Venetian Republic of which ...

Impressionists and friends: on the verge of the modern

Jun 23, 2011

Impressionists and friends: on the verge of the modern

There seems to be an exhibition of Impressionist art somewhere in Tokyo every year, such is its popularity in Japan. This summer,the National Art Center, Tokyo is presenting “Impressionist and Post-Impressionist Masterpieces from the National Gallery of Art,” showing works from the celebrated Washington ...

From within the 'outsider' came a wealth of imagination

May 5, 2011

From within the 'outsider' came a wealth of imagination

“American Innocence, Welcome To The Realms of the Unreal” at the Laforet Museum brings together 64 paintings and some personal objects of the “outsider artist” Henry Darger, who was born in Chicago in 1892. Just before his 4th birthday, his mother died giving birth ...

The Centre Pompidou brings the surreal to Tokyo

Mar 11, 2011

The Centre Pompidou brings the surreal to Tokyo

In its passage from the art world into everyday speech, the word “surreal” has ended up as mere shorthand for the bizarre and the unusual. But it originally referred to something deeper. Coined by the French poet Guilaume Apollinaire from the words “sur” (“beyond”) ...

Asian art challenges Western museums' way of thinking

Feb 25, 2011

Asian art challenges Western museums' way of thinking

Art from Asia has enjoyed increased global interest in the past few decades, which has brought major changes to the way in which the art scene now views this hitherto neglected region. In a special symposium, “How is the World Engaging with Contemporary Asian ...