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The Korean roots beneath Japan's folk art movement

May 3, 2016

The Korean roots beneath Japan's folk art movement

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The folk craft movement in Japan owes a great debt to Soetsu Yanagi (1889-1961), who coined the term “mingei” (“folk crafts”) in 1925. Yanagi pioneered the notion that Japan’s vernacular crafts had their own intrinsic artistic worth, and should be valued, collected and curated. ...

Hakuin's picture of Zen Buddhism

May 3, 2016

Hakuin's picture of Zen Buddhism

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Zen, traced to the ancient teachings of the Buddha Shakyamuni, took root in China via India around 1,500 years ago through the first Zen patriarch, Bodhidharma. Spread there by the priest Linji Yixuan (Rinzai Gigen, died 867), it was transmitted to Japan in the ...

Akiyama remodels the canon of clay

Apr 19, 2016

Akiyama remodels the canon of clay

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Artist Yo Akiyama has never been one to play by the rules. As a young student in the ceramics program at Kyoto City University of the Arts (Kyoto Geidai) in the mid-1970s, he quickly earned a reputation as a troublemaker, never content to accept ...

Kyoto's photographic slice of life

Apr 19, 2016

Kyoto's photographic slice of life

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Kyotographie is growing up. The international photography festival, which runs for a month at various stunning venues throughout Kyoto, is in its fourth year. So far there have been no signs of growing pains, even if the Kyotographie team members appear a little exhausted ...

'Caravaggio' masterpiece found in French attic

Apr 13, 2016

'Caravaggio' masterpiece found in French attic

A painting discovered in the attic of a house in France is an “authentic” work by Italian Renaissance master Caravaggio that could be worth up to 120 million euros, two experts said Tuesday. But others still have doubts over the spectacular canvas. The owners ...

An exhibition of things that make you go 'hmm'

Apr 12, 2016

An exhibition of things that make you go 'hmm'

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The subtitle of the Mori Art Museum’s triennial “Roppongi Crossing” exhibition three years ago was “Out of Doubt.” This year it’s “My Body, Your Voice.” In 2013, the group show was inflected by the destruction caused by the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and ...

Putting some faith into the art of decoration

Apr 12, 2016

Putting some faith into the art of decoration

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The titular kazari (decoration or ornament) as the focus of “Kazari: Decoration in Faith and Festival,” the Miho Museum’s spring exhibition, is intended to restore something of the centrality of its concept of decorative embellishment to Japanese art. While the exhibits are consummate, however, ...

Soseki Museum in London to close next year

Apr 5, 2016

Soseki Museum in London to close next year

A museum in London dedicated to novelist Soseki Natsume (1867-1916), who spent two years in the British capital, plans to close in September next year due to financial difficulties amid declining visitors, its operator said Monday. Next year marks 150 years since Soseki’s birth, ...

Richard Aldrich on the plurality of painting

Apr 5, 2016

Richard Aldrich on the plurality of painting

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Richard Aldrich’s “Eight Paintings” is his third solo exhibition with Misako & Rosen, but his first in their current exhibition space in Tokyo’s Otsuka district. As the title suggests, it comprises eight small-scale works. It opens as his show “Time Stopped, Time Started” closes ...

Miyajima's LED numbers tell tale of life in Hong Kong

Mar 31, 2016

Miyajima's LED numbers tell tale of life in Hong Kong

Artist Tatsuo Miyajima’s new work, “Time Waterfall,” has been shrouded in dense fog for most of the week, his trademark numbers partly hidden as they cascade down Hong Kong’s tallest building. But despite the heavy weather, Miyajima is still hopeful that his creation will ...