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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 ...

The changing views of landscape painting

Sep 29, 2015

The changing views of landscape painting

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There are many ways in which an art exhibition can make a positive impression, but the two main ones are through the quality of the artworks and the narrative that ties these together. The present exhibition at Bunkamura The Museum is rather weak on ...

What lies behind the bright lights of the city

Sep 29, 2015

What lies behind the bright lights of the city

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When visitors enter The Container, the micro-gallery housed inside Bross hair salon in Tokyo’s Nakameguro neighborhood, they’ll be faced with a faintly illuminated photograph that divides the space into two. The artwork, which forms the center of Suzanne Mooney’s solo show, titled “A Few ...

Miki Saito steps out of the inky shadows

Sep 15, 2015

Miki Saito steps out of the inky shadows

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Some artworks on first look hit you like a ton of bricks — with bold colors and striking realism. Others take time to get to know, offering hidden treasures that are revealed to the viewer over time. The work of Miki Saito at Wada ...

Behind the scenes of ukiyo-e prints

Sep 8, 2015

Behind the scenes of ukiyo-e prints

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Everyday life in Edo (present-day Tokyo) was befitting of a capital city — an era of beautiful women, graceful kabuki actors, bustling streets and breathtaking sights. The peace and stability imposed by the Edo Period (1603-1868) Tokugawa Shogunate allowed the city to flourish and ...

Pure landscape photography

Sep 8, 2015

Pure landscape photography

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The exhibition “Stream of Consciousness” at Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery is an extremely successful representation of contemporary Japanese photographic art. It combines some of the salient aspects of Japanese culture with the aesthetically formal, yet emotive imagery that is indicative of what gives ...

Takashi Homma's window on today's crafts

Sep 1, 2015

Takashi Homma's window on today's crafts

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Broadly speaking, compared to Britain, Germany and the United States, France and Japan have shared an alternative approach to design since the industrial revolution, focusing more on the appreciation of handmade and luxury goods. This economic necessity reverberates today as a mutual affection of ...

Poster woman for the war against the U.S.-led TPP

Sep 1, 2015

Poster woman for the war against the U.S.-led TPP

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For Yoko Inoue, art is like a bomb: Throw it into a crowded street and the truth just might explode out of it. The Japanese-born, New York-based multimedia and performance artist takes aim at society’s assumptions about commerce and culture using works rooted in ...