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Fujiwara wants the dirt to stick

Mar 8, 2016

Fujiwara wants the dirt to stick

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White often seems to be used in contemporary art in Japan as a kind of short cut to signify “beauty,” “purity” or “spirituality.” Simon Fujiwara’s show “White Day” at Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery is, as the title suggests, overwhelmingly white, but it’s designed ...

A round trip to Takeoka's world

Mar 8, 2016

A round trip to Takeoka's world

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“From a Pedestal into Space,” at The National Museum of Art, Osaka (NMAO), is Yuji Takeoka’s first major retrospective in Japan, featuring works from the 1980s to today. On entering the museum’s vast gallery space, you will find it populated with minimalist sculptures of ...

Geographic profiling may reveal identlty of elusive artist Banksy

Mar 5, 2016

Geographic profiling may reveal identlty of elusive artist Banksy

The elusive street artist Banksy may have been unmasked by mathematics. Scientists have applied a type of modeling used to track down criminals and map disease outbreaks to identify the graffiti artist, whose real name has never been confirmed. The technique, known as geographic ...

The dyeing art of Japan's traditional everyday kimono

Mar 1, 2016

The dyeing art of Japan's traditional everyday kimono

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Weaver and dyer Fukumi Shimura’s (b.1924) inherited an interest in craft from her mother, Toyo Ono, who made inroads through the early 20th-century mingei (folk crafts) movement led by philosopher Muneyoshi Yanagi. Introduced to the lacquer artistan Tatsuaki Kuroda in 1956, Shimura began to ...

Annie Leibovitz: Looking at the smaller picture

Mar 1, 2016

Annie Leibovitz: Looking at the smaller picture

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By way of introducing herself at the press preview of her new touring exhibition, “Women: New Portraits,” Annie Leibovitz says, “I love photography so much.” It seems like an oddly disingenuous thing to say for someone who is perhaps the most well-known and accomplished ...

Takashi Murakami collects more than just his thoughts

Feb 16, 2016

Takashi Murakami collects more than just his thoughts

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“Takashi Murakami’s Superflat Collection” is an exhibition of other people’s work, amassed as the result of one man’s phenomenally successful artistic career. It’s evidence that Murakami must have done something right, or wrong, depending on your view of culture. He’s sometimes portrayed as a ...

'Zakka: Goods and Things'

Feb 16, 2016

'Zakka: Goods and Things'

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Feb. 26-June 5 During Japan’s postwar economic boom, the term “zakka,” which literally means “uncategorizable things,” was usually used for mundane everyday tools and objects such as kettles, brooms and buckets. Since then, it has evolved to mean miscellaneous goods of a much broader ...

Dutch painters cut from the same canvas

Feb 9, 2016

Dutch painters cut from the same canvas

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The first noticeable thing about the exhibition “Vermeer and Rembrandt: the Masters of the 17th Century Dutch Golden Age” at the Mori Arts Center Gallery is the juxtaposition of the names. Vermeer’s name comes before that of Rembrandt, marking him as the leading Dutch ...

Drawing on film to highlight hyperreality

Feb 9, 2016

Drawing on film to highlight hyperreality

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“Following the other, one replaces him, exchanges lives, passions, wills, transforms oneself in the other’s stead. It is perhaps the only way man can finally fulfill himself. An ironic way, but all the more certain.” This quotation from Jean Baudrillard’s 1983 essay “Please Follow ...