Only representations of the real thing

| Dec 28, 2006

Only representations of the real thing

Something recurring — a style, a mood or a tendency that threads its way through the previous 12 months and, in doing so, traces a theme — that’s what I look for when it comes once again to appraising another year-in-art. This time round ...

Suspended in abstraction

| Nov 23, 2006

Suspended in abstraction

‘Maybe there are too many things in Tokyo,” says Katsuhiro Saiki, “because for me, New York City is the only place where I can relax — although I think it could be said that there are too many artists in New York City.” Best ...

An unexplained howl

| Nov 9, 2006

An unexplained howl

I don’t much care for those explanatory texts we call “artists’ statements,” because if an artist has to explain a work of art, then it simply isn’t standing on its own. Artists who spell out what their art means (and, in doing so, establish ...

Slow-motion revelations

| Oct 26, 2006

Slow-motion revelations

A group of people who do not know one another, but are united in a common purpose — possibly waiting for a bus — stand together in a tightly cropped long shot. One is reading a book, another is listening to music through headphones. ...

Artist sees it upsidedown

| Oct 12, 2006

Artist sees it upsidedown

The new exhibition at the Zenshi gallery in Kiyosumi is a breath of fresh air. Mikolaj Polinski’s “One Day in Paradise” does not attempt to overwhelm the viewer with scale or new media technology, rather it operates from the simple but increasingly overlooked premise ...

Tokyo Art Beat makes audience artists

| Sep 21, 2006

Tokyo Art Beat makes audience artists

After two years as the city’s best source for museum and gallery listings, Tokyo Art Beat (TAB, www.tokyoartbeat.com) is now getting involved in the production of exhibitions. In conjunction with Mozilla, creators of the popular Firefox browser, TAB and their associate entity Gadago are ...

Photographers lost in Hokkaido with models

| Sep 14, 2006

Photographers lost in Hokkaido with models

It really shouldn’t come as any surprise that corporations are getting involved in art exhibitions. Now that we’ve all but got used to bountiful product placement in movies, why shouldn’t brands make their way into art shows? Where will it stop, I wonder — ...

Meat as modern art

| Sep 7, 2006

Meat as modern art

I’ve pretty much stopped watching nature documentaries on TV because when an animal, say, a rabbit, is presented, and I see it born and then frolic and so on, I can’t help developing feelings for it. Then — and it usually doesn’t take very ...

Contemporary Japanese edition prints

| Aug 24, 2006

Contemporary Japanese edition prints

Many local goodies appeal to the expat population of Japan — kimono, sake and next-generation electronic goods to name a few. The area of fine arts, however, can be daunting, with most paintings and even photographs by established contemporary artists priced from the millions ...