Getting down to just art

| Mar 30, 2006

Getting down to just art

In the development of contemporary art scenes in Asian countries over recent years, a strong tendency has been for artists to buck the yoke of tradition and steer well clear of anything that might remotely resemble their nation’s folk art — unless of course ...

Tokyo Museum of Photography puts the private out in public

| Mar 23, 2006

Tokyo Museum of Photography puts the private out in public

Conceived during the optimism of the bubble era, but built in the mid 1990s, the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography’s development was stunted by budget cuts, less-than-impressive attendance and an unfocused raison d’etre. Although centrally located in Ebisu with a large exhibition space, the ...

Collages catch a fire

| Mar 9, 2006

Collages catch a fire

Computer software has revived the term “cut and paste.” We execute the commands when writing documents, treating images, or slipping stuff into an e-mail. Cutting and pasting is so simple that it’s easy to forget that the actions were originally performed not in a ...

Kiyosumi galleries:
Optimistic in Tokyo's east

| Feb 23, 2006

Kiyosumi galleries: Optimistic in Tokyo's east

Painting, photography and installations from emerging and experienced artists have made for a strong start to the Kiyosumi galleries’ first spring season. It is almost five months since four of Tokyo’s leading contemporary art galleries and four smaller ventures moved into the white warehouse ...

Berlin/Tokyo : Invitation to a car wreck

Feb 9, 2006

Berlin/Tokyo : Invitation to a car wreck

See related story: Berlin/Tokyo : Your pick of the isms Maybe my expectations were too high, in any case they were off target — because I found “Tokyo-Berlin/ Berlin-Tokyo” a pedestrian, listless exhibition — possibly the most disappointing thing the Mori Art Museum has ...

WONDER SITE:
Strong words in Shibuya fail
to bring a crowd

| Jan 12, 2006

WONDER SITE: Strong words in Shibuya fail to bring a crowd

In 2001, a peculiar contemporary-art space called Tokyo Wonder Site opened in a disused building in Bunkyo Ward in Northeast Tokyo. Supported by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, the project attracted a measure of initial interest, but never developed into anything like a hot spot ...

Reasons for smiles after the disasters

| Dec 29, 2005

Reasons for smiles after the disasters

I participated last Sunday in a thing called the “Dean Martin Memorial Stop Misery Outreach Action.” This is a public happening that goes back some 10 years in Japan, and involves distributing one hundred martinis — shaken on the spot, with uncommonly good gin ...

The form of the infinite

| Dec 15, 2005

The form of the infinite

Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote: “The sky is the daily bread of the eyes.” If so, then urban man is severely ocularly undernourished. Once broad and punctuated by the occasional construction, the sky has in our lifetime been all but overtaken by buildings — and ...

Getting a little help from friends

| Dec 1, 2005

Getting a little help from friends

Federico Herrero made a splash with his wall paintings of weirdly morphed animals at the 2001 Venice Biennale and, at age 22, became the youngest-ever winner of the prestigious art fair’s Golden Lion Award. In the wake of that success, the Costa Rican-born painter ...