Breaking old conventions to find the new

Oct 15, 2010

Breaking old conventions to find the new

Ryota Aoki (b.1978) says that he wants to see things that never before existed in ceramics. Personally, too, he is the exemplification of that ethos. We do not usually expect a celebrated ceramicist to be wearing a turban, have both ears pierced and be ...

Exploring the stylistic diversity of nihonga

Oct 1, 2010

Exploring the stylistic diversity of nihonga

“The Avant-Garde of Nihonga 1938-1949″ at the National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto takes issue with nihonga (Japanese-style painting) of the period as a reaction to what has been passed down to the present as the traditional aesthetics and thematics of the genre. These ...

'Mizuki Shigeru: Illustrations of Yokai'

| Sep 24, 2010

'Mizuki Shigeru: Illustrations of Yokai'

Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art, Kobe Closes Oct. 3 In an attempt to bolster its artistic pedigree, manga has sought parentage in the popular ukiyo-e woodblock prints of the Edo Period (1603-1868) that achieved high-art status from the late decades of the 19th century. ...

Tales of Ueda Akinari and his contemporaries

Aug 20, 2010

Tales of Ueda Akinari and his contemporaries

With the advent of postmodernism in Japan from the 1980s, which fostered eclecticism and diverse stylistic practices, interest in the earlier Edo Period (1603-1868) was revived and it subsequently was embraced as a kindred spirit. Kyoto National Museum’s “Ueda Akinari 200th Memorial Retrospective,” until ...

'Paramodel Solo Exhibition: The World According to P'

| Aug 13, 2010

'Paramodel Solo Exhibition: The World According to P'

Mori Yu Gallery, Kyoto Closes Aug. 28 Following on from the large-scale June-July retrospective “The World According to Paramodel” at the Otani Memorial Art Museum, Nishinomiya, Kyoto’s Mori Yu Gallery has mounted a complementary show of recent Paramodel works in the solo exhibition: “The ...

When science meets art, it gets confusing

Jul 23, 2010

When science meets art, it gets confusing

In 1959, British physicist and novelist C.P. Snow delivered an influential lecture titled “The Two Cultures,” in which he claimed the divide between the sciences and the humanities was to the detriment of finding solutions to world problems. The Second Law of Thermodynamics was ...

The talented women of Kyoto

Jul 16, 2010

The talented women of Kyoto

“Women Artists of Kyoto: Bearing Burdens / Burdens Born” is ostensibly about the classification of female artists since the late 19th century. The term “keishu-gaka” refers to accomplished women artists, “joryu-gaka” to post-World War II artists who created trends among male colleagues and “josei-gaka” ...

Komura Settai finds a new modern audience

Jul 9, 2010

Komura Settai finds a new modern audience

It is often difficult to fathom how an artist so popular in his own time slides into oblivion in subsequent generations. 2010 has been a good year for one such artist, Komura Settai (1887-1940), who in his time was a prolific creator, producing illustrations, ...

China's modern art that grieves for the old

Jun 11, 2010

China's modern art that grieves for the old

The art on display in “From the 11th Chinese National Art Exhibition 2009: Contemporary Fine Art from China” at the Nara Prefectural Museum of Art is of a different species than the headline-grabbing pieces that have propelled Chinese art into a much sought-after commodity ...

Brothers brought together by differences

Jun 4, 2010

Brothers brought together by differences

Takejiro Inagaki was a nihonga (Japanese style) painter who later turned to crafting gold and lacquer wares. These artistic skills were shared by two of his sons, whose bodies of work are the subject of “The Inagaki Brothers: Chusei and Toshijiro” at The National ...