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The frayed edges of modern Japan

Jan 19, 2016

The frayed edges of modern Japan

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In the Edo Period (1603-1868) and the years that followed, Japan made strenuous efforts to bring together its patchwork of feudal regions into a strongly centralized state with a unified culture. Accordingly, the nation now is one of the most homogenous in the world. ...

Artist arrested for posing naked beside painting of a nude in Paris museum

Jan 18, 2016

Artist arrested for posing naked beside painting of a nude in Paris museum

A woman has been arrested for indecent exposure after lying down naked in Paris’s Musee d’Orsay in front of Edouard Manet’s similarly nude painting of the prostitute Olympia, her lawyer said Sunday. Museum-goers were enjoying an exhibition entitled “Splendor and Misery: Images of Prostitution ...

Idem Paris: Worlds apart and yet so close

Jan 12, 2016

Idem Paris: Worlds apart and yet so close

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Before photography became a relatively affordable pastime at the beginning of the 20th century, lithographic prints were touted as the democratic image-making medium that could reach all classes of society. At the same time, because the design was drawn directly onto stone, it could ...

Gabriel Orozco: always ahead of the game

Jan 12, 2016

Gabriel Orozco: always ahead of the game

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Gabriel Orozco has returned to Tokyo. Following his retrospective “Inner Circles” at the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo in early 2015, “Visible Labor” at Rat Hole Gallery is a collection of new works that explore Orozco’s classic themes of the city, transportation and games, ...

The difficulty of being Frank Gehry

Jan 5, 2016

The difficulty of being Frank Gehry

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The exhibition “Frank Gehry: I Have an Idea,” currently at 21_21 Design Sight and curated by fellow architect Tsuyoshi Tane, crams in a lot, but it’s not exactly a linear retrospective. Rather, it’s an upward look at a man on a tightrope — a ...

On the funny side of the universe

Jan 5, 2016

On the funny side of the universe

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John Wood and Paul Harrison’s show “Some Things Are Hard to Explain” is proving to be a big hit at the NTT Intercommunication Center. The artists’ wry, tongue-in-cheek videos, drawings and animations are intentionally gormless and genuinely thought-provoking at the same time. One of ...

Gain the courage to scream with Yoko Ono

Dec 29, 2015

Gain the courage to scream with Yoko Ono

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The conceit of “From My Window” — an exhibition that covers Yoko Ono as a conceptual artist from the 1950s onwards — is to focus on her connection with Tokyo. Since it’s at the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Contemporary Art, maybe that’s to be ...

Laurent Grasso alludes to a future in our past

Dec 29, 2015

Laurent Grasso alludes to a future in our past

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A funny thing happened on the way to “Le Forum.” Outside Ochanomizu Station, a small group of neo-Nazis had set up shop and were playing the Japanese national anthem. One of them was wearing a modified SS uniform and proudly let me take his ...

Exhibition of erotic Japanese art draws 200,000 visitors

Dec 25, 2015

Exhibition of erotic Japanese art draws 200,000 visitors

Japan’s first major exhibition of erotic art known as shunga, which ended earlier this week in Tokyo, drew more than 200,000 visitors during its three-month run, organizers said. Former Prime Minister Morihiro Hokokawa, who heads the Eisei-Bunko Museum where the exhibition was held, said ...

Smiling between the lines of ukiyo-e

Dec 15, 2015

Smiling between the lines of ukiyo-e

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Some art collectors enjoy the eclectic, picking up art pieces opportunistically — even randomly — usually when they find something at the right price. Others have more streamlined tastes and focus on a theme or genre, building up more consistent collections. The result of ...