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Before the vividness of France came the simplicity of Holland

May 14, 2014

Before the vividness of France came the simplicity of Holland

by C.B. Liddell

It must be something of a Faustian bargain buying a Post-Impressionist painting for a record-breaking price. In 1987, Yasuo Goto, president of Yasuda Fire & Marine Insurance Co., bought Van Gogh’s “Vase with Fifteen Sunflowers” (1888) for $39 million. Perhaps due to that daring ...

Shiseido's Tsubaki-kai questions the nature of art

May 7, 2014

Shiseido's Tsubaki-kai questions the nature of art

by Stuart Munro

Now in its seventh incarnation, Shiseido's most recent Tsubaki-kai group of artists is the first to be formed since the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami of 2011, and it has added to its concerns the meeting of personal preoccupation with art's wider relevance ...

A powerful look at 'exotic' and 'primitive' artworks

Apr 30, 2014

A powerful look at 'exotic' and 'primitive' artworks

by C.B. Liddell

The “Power of Images” exhibition at the National Art Centre Tokyo is nothing less than an assault on the senses — a barrage of exotic and vivid anthropological oddities from the collection of the National Museum of Ethnology in Osaka. Garish, fantastic, ghoulish and ...

Tradition is woven into modern Japanese fashion

Apr 30, 2014

Tradition is woven into modern Japanese fashion

by Sachiko Tamashige

Boosted by Japan’s remarkable economic growth and the modernization of the country’s lifestyle in the latter half of the 20th century, contemporary Japanese fashion has soared to the heights of the global fashion scene while, at the same time, the textile industry related to ...

Kyoto photography show pushes the frame

Apr 28, 2014

Kyoto photography show pushes the frame

by J.J. O'Donoghue

Mars has landed in Japan and is best viewed from a beanbag in the annex of The Museum of Kyoto. “Mars, a Photographic exploration” is the worthy headline event at this year’s Kyotographie International Photography Festival, which brings together remarkable photos of the red ...

Apr 23, 2014

Best to approach Gursky's photos with a painterly eye

by Matthew Larking

The invention of photography was supposed to bring about the death of painting. What actually happened, however, was that photography became a parasite, feeding off painting. It is enriched by it, bolstered and buoyed by its conventions — such as the use of landscape ...

All aboard the art train to Ichihara

Apr 16, 2014

All aboard the art train to Ichihara

by James Jack

Just after the train departs, a passenger falls to the floor. Further down the small train carriage another person follows suit. “Ma’am, are you sane?” questions a female announcer over the loudspeaker. The diesel train chugs forward. A young man asks, “Mom where did ...

Symbolic olives trace the journey of Catholics in Japan

Apr 16, 2014

Symbolic olives trace the journey of Catholics in Japan

by Mio Coxon

Japanese-born artist Yu Araki is currently presenting his site-specific video installation “Angelo Lives,” (2014) at Nakameguro’s quirky The Container art space. Literally a shipping container housed inside a hair salon, the small gallery is known for giving artists free rein to reinterpret the unique ...