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Blum & Poe gets closer to its artists

by Edan Corkill

Some people just can’t help liking Japan. That’s the message one gets from the effervescent Tim Blum and his only slightly more taciturn partner Jeff Poe, co-owners of the Los Angeles-based Blum & Poe art gallery, which this week takes the bold step of opening a new gallery space in ...

There are gods behind the Idemitsu Museum of Arts

Sep 11, 2014

There are gods behind the Idemitsu Museum of Arts

by Rei Sasaguchi

In 1942, Idemitsu, a native of the Munakata area of Fukuoka Prefecture, led the Munakata Shrine Fukko Kiseikai (Restoration Committee) and was instrumental in restoring the grand shrine's buildings, which were by that point in a derelict state.

Between darkness and light

Sep 4, 2014

Between darkness and light

by John L. Tran

In the days just after the Great East Japan Earthquake, photographers, videographers and the mass media were, quite understandably, not that welcome inside the disaster zone. As time went on and survivors faced the task of dealing with the aftermath, contact with the outside ...

Hashimoto's rings shine with history

Sep 4, 2014

Hashimoto's rings shine with history

by Daisuke Kikuchi

The Hashimoto Collection of rings is the largest number of works to be donated to the National Museum of Western Art since it was originally established to house the Matsutaka Collection of artworks in 1959. Received in 2012, this vast collection of hundreds of ...

A revue of Japan's femininity

Sep 4, 2014

A revue of Japan's femininity

by Matthew Larking

Ichizo Kobayashi (1873-1957) was the founder of the West Japan Hankyu train line and department store in Osaka’s central Umeda district. Arguably his most significant artistic contribution was the establishment of the Takarazuka Music School in 1913, which combined a modern education with the ...

Artist takes a jab at social identity

Aug 28, 2014

Artist takes a jab at social identity

by John L. Tran

What will it take to save the world? If you visit Maison Hermes Le Forum in Ginza in the next few weeks, artist Tsuneko Taniuchi — in the guise of Ninja Girl, wearing a flower in her hair and with a toy M16 rifle ...

The Goude, the bad and the ugly

Aug 28, 2014

The Goude, the bad and the ugly

by Cameron Allan Mckean

On Aug. 15, 1977, an issue of New York Magazine was released with an image of Jamaican singer and model Grace Jones on the cover: She is almost naked, standing on one very long leg; her oil-coated torso twisting to face the camera, with ...

Ballet's dance with the avant-garde

Aug 21, 2014

Ballet's dance with the avant-garde

by Mio Yamada

On May 29, 1913, the Theatre des Champs-Elysees in Paris witnessed what has become a tale of artistic scandal re-told and exaggerated to almost mythic proportions. It is said that just seconds after the stage curtain was raised, the Ballet Russes’ performance of Igor ...

How Japan's art inspired the West

Aug 14, 2014

How Japan's art inspired the West

by Jeff Michael Hammond

In the decades after Japan was forcibly opened to large-scale international trade in the early 1850s, a fever spread across Europe for items from the exotic country: its textiles, ceramics, paper fans, woodblock prints and more. Meanwhile, the term “Japonism” was coined to describe ...

The bright sparks of photography

Aug 14, 2014

The bright sparks of photography

by Alice Gordenker

Photography, because it is both familiar and accessible, is an excellent medium for young people to use for self-expression. With this as a guiding principle, the Kiyosato Museum of Photographic Arts (K*MoPA) in Yamanashi Prefecture has sought since its founding in 1995 to contribute ...

The back story to Taiwan's treasures

Aug 7, 2014

The back story to Taiwan's treasures

by C.B. Liddell

The artworks and objects on display at the Tokyo National Museum’s latest show, “Treasured Masterpieces from the National Palace Museum, Taipei,” have had something of checkered history. A large part of this was due to the efforts of the Japanese Imperial Army to get ...

Daigoji Temple celebrates its collection

Aug 7, 2014

Daigoji Temple celebrates its collection

by Matthew Larking

World Heritage Site, Daigoji Temple, was founded on the summit of Mount Kasatori in southeastern Kyoto when the monk Rigen Daishi Shobo (832-909) is said to have discovered a spring from which flowed the “ultimate taste, representing the highest state of Buddhist wisdom.” From ...