Masaru Iwai digs the dirt on cleanliness

Mar 12, 2015

Masaru Iwai digs the dirt on cleanliness

by John L. Tran

Masaru Iwai, a Ph.D. graduate from Tokyo University of Arts, tells me that he only showers once every two days. This fact causes the two gallery directors in the room to gasp in horror. In an ill-advised moment of sharing I let slip that ...

The flickering of Japan's contemporary art

Mar 5, 2015

The flickering of Japan's contemporary art

by C.B. Liddell

Art used to be about what you could see, but now, thanks to a more “conceptual” approach, it is often about what cannot be seen. Except the artist still has to demonstrate in some way what it is that can’t be seen — in ...

Nihonga didn't ignore the West

Feb 26, 2015

Nihonga didn't ignore the West

by Matthew Larking

From the early 1880s, painting in Japan became bisected. Yōga was used to categorize works in oils that were inspired by European painting movements and nihonga became the umbrella term for a whole array of earlier Japanese painting traditions that were later modernized. The ...

'Art Brut of Shiga'

Feb 26, 2015

'Art Brut of Shiga'

by Daisuke Kikuchi

March 3-15 During the postwar era, many social welfare establishments were created in Shiga Prefecture, including the child welfare facility Omi Gakuen, which was founded by Kazuo Itoga, Ichiji Tamura and Taro Ikeda in 1946. One of the then-unique activities of Omi Gaukuen was ...

A stitch in time does much more than save nine

Feb 20, 2015

A stitch in time does much more than save nine

by Kenta Murakami

One of Tokyo Dome’s most attended annual attractions might come as a surprise to some. Aside from being home to baseball games and big-name concerts, the huge stadium also hosts a number of fairs, including the Tokyo International Great Quilt Festival — which is ...

'Kawaii: Cute Girls in Ukiyo-e'

Feb 19, 2015

'Kawaii: Cute Girls in Ukiyo-e'

by Daisuke Kikuchi

March 1-26 Girl’s fashion in Tokyo’s Harajuku district has become a notable symbol of contemporary Japanese kawaii (cute) culture. However, it may come as a surprise to find out that the roots of kawaii trends are far older. On show at Ukiyo-e Ota Memorial ...