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It’s ‘otherness’ that helps define ‘self’

Jan 29, 2014

It’s ‘otherness’ that helps define ‘self’

by John L. Tran

For better or worse, in contemporary art it is common to see male photographers tend toward featuring landscapes and objects, and female photographers working on problems of shifting identities, family and the body. In this respect there is a strong lineage for Ayaka Yamamoto’s ...

Two photographers in a state of play

Jan 15, 2014

Two photographers in a state of play

by John L. Tran

In an intriguing double-header, two of photography's more colorful characters are exhibited together at the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, providing an interesting glimpse of art form as play.

Darren Almond: All things pass

Jan 8, 2014

Darren Almond: All things pass

by James Jack

A wall of 450 flip-clocks all display 15:26 in the entryway to “Second Thoughts” at Contemporary Art Gallery, Art Tower Mito. Seconds pass … CLICK, all synchronized to the minute. The sound of 15:27 is so overwhelming it’s surprising to see only one digit ...

Shimomura Kanzan kept <em>nihonga</em> clean and cool

Jan 8, 2014

Shimomura Kanzan kept nihonga clean and cool

by C.B. Liddell

Art can sometimes play a balancing or compensatory role in society, giving voice to neglected or superseded aspects of a culture. For example, the neo-feudalist ethos of Pre-Raphaelitism and the pastoralism of Impressionism developed against a backdrop of increasing urbanization and materialism. This can ...

Best of the West tops this year's major shows

Dec 25, 2013

Best of the West tops this year's major shows

by C.B. Liddell

Japan occupies an odd niche in the art world. Its own indigenous artistic traditions are balanced against an almost fanboy fascination with certain aspects of the canon of Western art, while there is an often half-hearted attempt to stay plugged into the global contemporary ...

The influences on and of Tetsumi Kudo

Dec 25, 2013

The influences on and of Tetsumi Kudo

by Matthew Larking

“Collection 3 — Works Related to Your Portrait: A Tetsumi Kudo Retrospective: From Anti-art of the 1960s to Art of the Present Day” is a contextual exhibition accompanying the superb “Tetsumi Kudo Retrospective” at the National Museum of Art, Osaka. It brings together foreign ...

Josef Koudelka:  the theatrics of life

Dec 18, 2013

Josef Koudelka: the theatrics of life

by John L. Tran

Wild white hair and beard, but dressed in a drab, olive shirt and combat jacket, Josef Koudelka is like a guerrilla Father Christmas. Wearing scuffed shoes, and with a roughly unceremonious joviality, the Czech photographer appears uncomfortable being stalked around his exhibition by dozens ...

The noisy posters of the silent 1920s

Dec 11, 2013

The noisy posters of the silent 1920s

by C.B. Liddell

When the Communists seized control of Russia in late 1917, they found themselves in a difficult position. According to Marxist theory, the revolution should have happened hundreds of miles further west in one of the more industrialized countries, such as Britain or Germany, with ...

Somewhere between art and craft lies the beauty of Satoshi Someya

Dec 11, 2013

Somewhere between art and craft lies the beauty of Satoshi Someya

by Matthew Larking

Satoshi Someya has produced a cerebrally engaging and visually alluring exhibition. His “Digesting Decoration” positions him among the most significant contemporary lacquer artists working today. The primary concern is with “use,” as in the particularly utilitarian function of craft, as opposed to the ostensible ...