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Less meant more to Shunso Hishida

by C.B. Liddell

It’s no secret that the Japanese art world was going through major changes at the end of the 19th century. On the one hand, there was a flood of Western art styles, called yōga, offering exciting new possibilities, while, on the other, there was a reaction called nihonga, which sought ...

Gronsky's detached fascination

Oct 9, 2014

Gronsky's detached fascination

by John L. Tran

Alexander Gronsky is slightly surprised at his own success. Standing outside the warehouse building that is hosting a joint reception for several artists, including Thomas Ruff, he chain smokes a couple of cigarettes while we chat about doing photography during a typhoon, and how ...

Tokyo's tiny capsules of architectural flair

Oct 3, 2014

Tokyo's tiny capsules of architectural flair

by Katie Forster

Every night in Tokyo, the few remaining residents of the Nakagin Capsule Tower bed down to sleep in the once-futuristic white pods they call home. Unlike the tiny, coffin-like cabins of Japan’s numerous capsule hotels, where office workers who have missed the last train ...

Susumu Shingu knows which way the wind blows

Oct 2, 2014

Susumu Shingu knows which way the wind blows

by Mio Yamada

Less than five minutes into conversation, Susumu Shingu’s wife, Yasuko, pulls out a large binder crammed with photographs, sketches and drawings and starts flipping through images of her husband’s most recent sculptures. “I work for him,” she says with a big smile. “All the ...

Nothing goes out of fashion quite like the future

Oct 2, 2014

Nothing goes out of fashion quite like the future

by John L. Tran

Vincent Fournier’s exhibition at the Diesel Art Gallery shows a love and fascination with technology, but it is not a straightforward adoration. The French photographer combines this with an impish sense of humor and also brings a sociologist’s view to his subjects, which are ...

Transforming the splendor of Japanese art

Sep 25, 2014

Transforming the splendor of Japanese art

by Yoko Haruhara

Every culture treasures its arts, and art museums are at the forefront of art preservation, engaging curators and specialists to ensure works remain as faithful to the originals as possible. Japan, however, has a long cultural and philosophical tradition that runs counter to the ...

The Royal Academy gazed beyond its shores

Sep 25, 2014

The Royal Academy gazed beyond its shores

by C.B. Liddell

If last week’s Scottish independence referendum achieved anything, it raised awareness of Britain and Britishness. But for a few hundred thousand votes, here is a nation that could have ceased to be. But just what is Britishness? A visit to “Genius and Ambition: The ...

Blum & Poe gets closer to its artists

Sep 18, 2014

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 ...

Taking a pictorial trip to Normandy

Sep 18, 2014

Taking a pictorial trip to Normandy

by C.B. Liddell

“Normandie — L’Estuaire de la Seine: L’Invention d’Un Paysage” (“Normandy — The Seine Estuary: The invention of a Landscape” is an exhibition at the Sompo Japan Museum of Art that recently changed its name to Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Museum of Art. Just as the ...

Tomoo Gokita's painterly coup

Sep 11, 2014

Tomoo Gokita's painterly coup

by Taro Nettleton

In a 2000, Gokita likened the relationship between fine artists and illustrators to that of martial artists and professional wrestlers. "These days, though, wrestlers beat martial artists in MMA matches," he noted. "If I could do that in art, then I'm fine being an ...

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 ...