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Seduced by the Undercover labyrinth

Nov 10, 2015

Seduced by the Undercover labyrinth

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It’s undeniable that when designer Jun Takahashi founded Undercover — which celebrates its 25th anniversary with its first retrospective at Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery — he was strongly influenced by the pioneers of deconstruction fashion Rei Kawakubo and Yohji Yamamoto. His first few ...

The 'Great Terracotta Army' marches on Japan

Nov 5, 2015

The 'Great Terracotta Army' marches on Japan

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A small section of Qin Shi Huang’s terra-cotta army marched into the Tokyo National Museum last week and will remain there until February before descending on the cities of Fukuoka and Osaka. The 2,200-year-old life-size statues — sometimes referred to as the “eighth wonder ...

Deutsche Bank sets the right standard

Nov 3, 2015

Deutsche Bank sets the right standard

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There is an image in the Deutsche Bank Collection exhibition at the Hara Museum that, at first sight, seems slightly out of place. It is a street scene in New York that glows in the warm light of a sunset. Office workers can be ...

Kyoto's Rinpa school is moving in many ways

Nov 3, 2015

Kyoto's Rinpa school is moving in many ways

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At this moment, the Kyoto National Museum is showcasing some extraordinarily breathtaking work. Three sets of “Wind God” and “Thunder God” screens by three major Rinpa (also known as Rimpa) artists are being displayed together in the same location for the first time in ...

Hiroji Kubota's lens is a witness to history

Oct 24, 2015

Hiroji Kubota's lens is a witness to history

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Photographer Hiroji Kubota believes that “everyone has a great drama to tell.” With the release of his retrospective photo book, simply titled “Hiroji Kubota Photographer,” now it’s his turn to tell his. As the sole Japanese member of Magnum Photos, the international collective founded ...

Monet's experiments meet his masterpieces

Oct 20, 2015

Monet's experiments meet his masterpieces

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To anyone familiar with art exhibitions in Japan, it is clear that Impressionism is one of the most well-known and most-loved of all the “isms” and movements of Western art. The name of the movement is believed to have come from a 1872 painting ...

New York's Met showing 150 newly donated Japanese art treasures

Oct 20, 2015

New York's Met showing 150 newly donated Japanese art treasures

An exhibition of 150 important Japanese artworks is being held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. It includes a statue of the Buddhist deity known as Fudo Myoo by sculptor Kaikei, who lived in the late 12th and early 13th centuries. The ...

Pow! Wow! to pack a punch in Tokyo

Oct 13, 2015

Pow! Wow! to pack a punch in Tokyo

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Inspiration comes in many forms: It could be a piece of artwork that changes your vision of the world, or it could be a phone call from a friend that spawns an international art phenomenon. In 2010, artist Jasper Wong was running a small ...

Usugrow feels the art of skulls in his bones

Oct 13, 2015

Usugrow feels the art of skulls in his bones

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With shows four times a year, Diesel Art Gallery in Tokyo’s Shibuya Ward is one of the best free art venues in Tokyo and is well worth checking out. Located in the basement of the clothes brand shop, it puts on consistently good shows ...

Hiroshi Hamaya: images of an inner war

Oct 6, 2015

Hiroshi Hamaya: images of an inner war

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Most active in the mid-20th century, the photographer Hiroshi Hamaya (1915-99) is best known for his folkloric images of rural life in Niigata Prefecture — images that some consider to be symbolic of his passive resistance to militarism, but for more critical voices are ...

First impressions of the late impressionists

Oct 6, 2015

First impressions of the late impressionists

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Any great story tends to focus on a limited number of characters, with everybody else either reduced to anonymity or the status of extras. In literary fiction or movies this is never a problem, but when the narrative is a historical one, it can ...