Spelling out China's calligraphic influence

Jan 14, 2011

Spelling out China's calligraphic influence

At the end of the Edo Period (1603-1868), as Japan began to change its long-held cultural reference point from China to the West, a strong Sinophile interest was maintained by the nation’s cultural and political elites. From the late 19th century, however, the cultural ...

Fill up on Morimura's unusual 'side dishes'

Jan 7, 2011

Fill up on Morimura's unusual 'side dishes'

Some artists are accorded such historical importance that virtually everything they do or have done comes under close scrutiny. Other artists are effectively known for a single thing, such as the nominal Italian Surrealist, Giorgio de Chirico, who is primarily known for his so-called ...

A figure outside the nihonga box

Dec 24, 2010

A figure outside the nihonga box

“Depicting the Human Form: From Natural Sight and Sentiment to Modeling” at the Insho-Domoto Museum of Fine Arts, Kyoto, jumps around. It is evidence of the constantly searching temperament of the nihonga (Japanese-style painting) painter Insho Domoto (1891-1975), who refused to acquiesce to the ...

The swinging trends of modern Japanese painting

Dec 10, 2010

The swinging trends of modern Japanese painting

“Japanese Art 1950-2010″ at the National Museum of Art, Osaka is a historical show by virtue of the span of time it covers. Drawn from the museum’s collection, however, it is also historically disengaged, largely not placing works within the narrative contexts of art ...

An education in Japanese-style painting

Oct 22, 2010

An education in Japanese-style painting

Economically in decline, and with its traditional craft industries going the same way, the city of Kyoto, having lost its nominal status as Japan’s capital city in 1868, turned to education. Sixty four elementary schools were established by 1869, and secondary schools followed. The ...

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 ...