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Monty Dipietro

For Monty Dipietro's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

Looking at the garish and the free

| May 10, 2007

Looking at the garish and the free

Let’s face it, there really is nothing like the face. Lovers dream of faces, poets stretch and struggle to juggle the words so that they might capture and communicate a countenance. Even businesspeople, the ultimate pragmatists, will travel across towns or oceans — when ...

The satellite in the room

| Apr 26, 2007

The satellite in the room

The NSAT-110 is a Japanese telecommunications satellite built by Lockheed Martin Commercial Space Systems and launched in October 2000 from French Guiana on an Ariene 4 rocket into a geostationary orbit some 35,000 km above Indonesia. Plywood, as you probably know, is a bonded-composite ...

Something for everyone

| Apr 12, 2007

Something for everyone

Fine art collecting being widely regarded as a pursuit of the privileged, one can appreciate the trepidation of the everyman regarding the auction and gallery scene. These almost sacrosanct environments, of hushed tones, thin goatees and Ermenegildo Zegna, moderated by the arcane ruminations of ...

We make great pets

| Mar 22, 2007

We make great pets

Imagine if you will a female Japanese artist who dresses as a hamster and scurries round amid wood chips and scraps of torn paper, wide-eyed, nibbling on croissant-size, cookie-dough “sunflower seeds.” Yes, in this city with its insatiable sweet tooth for art, it does ...

The Germans come to play

| Mar 8, 2007

The Germans come to play

In most all of the world’s larger cities, traditionally the grandest buildings have been religious in orientation. As places of congregation, they were necessarily characterized by large open spaces. As conduits to the spiritual, their design included surging spires, pagodas or minarets. The current ...

Breaking into an insider's tea-drinking club

| Feb 22, 2007

Breaking into an insider's tea-drinking club

The term “gaijin artist” can be something of an insult to those who make Japan their home. It is, after all, parochial and old-fashioned to differentiate artists strictly on the basis of what passport they carry. But with three Western-born artists — all of ...

Blood, guts and bathing

| Feb 8, 2007

Blood, guts and bathing

Colonialism leaves a peculiar scar. As generations pass and ethnicities merge, the distinction between indigenous and invader becomes increasingly blurred until it is impossible for either side to regard the other without finding something of themselves reflected there. Some 500 years after the arrival ...

Welcome to Misery Park

| Jan 30, 2007

Welcome to Misery Park

Shinjuku’s Kabukicho is among the world’s largest adult entertainment districts, with thousands of bars and sex clubs providing a cornucopia of nighttime entertainment options. It is not a quiet place — kamikaze taxicabs rocket the narrow streets, a huge video screen blares scenes from ...

A great space waiting to be filled

| Jan 25, 2007

A great space waiting to be filled

Wow. It’s huge. Proposed during the halcyon optimism of the bubble era and constructed during a period of economic slowdown almost a generation later, the National Art Center, Tokyo has finally opened and is positioned to be the jewel in the crown of the ...

Rooms for art

| Jan 11, 2007

Rooms for art

The hotel, be it flophouse or five-star, is what distinguishes cosmopolitan man from the nomad. Yes, it may be a humdrum need for shelter and food that brings us to hotels. But when we slip into that unfamiliar room, and for one night make ...