For Donald Eubank's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:
Jul 20, 2010
Jun 18, 2010
William Eggleston is not one to think too much about theory. While you might anguish over the "mediated nature of photography," he'll be out taking pictures. When establishing my lack of bona fides during our interview at the Hara Museum in Tokyo last week by admitting a scarcity of knowledge about contemporary art, Eggleston happily replied, "I don't know anything about contemporary art either."
Apr 9, 2010
At the opening press conference for "Roppongi Crossing 2010," the U.S-based French artist Jules de Balincourt said that he was impressed how the exhibition revealed to him that the contemporary art being produced in Japan could just as easily have been created anywhere in the world — that trends in art here were the same as elsewhere.
Mar 12, 2010
"When you go out on the street and walk on the sidewalk, someone has decided where the sidewalk is. You take your car and drive the car; someone decided the roadway — you have a red light and a green light. Actually, we are funneled 24-hours around the clock through highly regulated spaces designed by urban planners. We don't even think about how we are controlled by these spaces," muses the artist Christo at a recent interview at 21_21 Design Sight in Tokyo's Midtown. "What we do, Jeanne-Claude and myself, we borrow that space and create gentle disturbances for a few days."
Dec 11, 2009
Artist Chris Bucklow has been many things: a writer, a curator and, just as relevantly, an amateur astronomer. A trip to Botswana to view Halley's comet was the impetus to finally leave London's Victoria and Albert Museum, where he had worked for 10 years, and take up art fulltime. The now 52-year-old Bucklow started creating paintings of how he imagined the electrical activity of people dreaming would look like from outer space, but, unsatisfied with the result, sought a photographic method to portray his visions.
Aug 21, 2009
Several weeks ago at the Fuji Rock music festival, I realized that I might be in the wrong game. The art world is about the object: You look at a work, often something inert, and attempt to discern from it an emotion, a meaning or a truth. But music irresistibly moves you, it mysteriously reaches through the ear to some part of the mind that ignites a passion, elicits joy and maybe even makes you want to get your boogie on. Can static artworks compete with the power of rhythm and melody in succeeding in touching the soul?
Jul 24, 2009
Earth Celebration is certainly in touch with the times: Last year the taiko drumming troupe Kodo marked the 100th anniversary of Japanese immigration to Brazil with the Afro-Brazilian culture group Olodum; this year they are celebrating the 400th anniversary of trade relations between Japan and the Netherlands by inviting Holland's most popular rock outfit — Bløf.
Jul 3, 2009
While walking through the courtyard of the Hara Museum of Contemporary Art and interviewing critic Midori Matsui, a frog hopped out of the darkness, stopped for a moment in the light and then slipped back into the night. Matsui, who curated the Hara's current exhibition, "Micropop," had just been explaining in front of paintings by Tam Ochiai that what she looks for in works of art are things that disappear.
May 15, 2009
S ometimes the cutting-edge is five years old. Take the current exhibition at the Mori Art Museum, "The Kaleidoscopic Eye: Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary Collection." Featuring some of the best of what the contemporary art world has to offer, by the time it's made it to the museum, the art world has already moved on. But audiences still need to catch up, and Francesca von Habsburg, the collector behind Thyssen-Bornemisza, wants to help lead them there.
Apr 17, 2009
"I love contemporary art, I like a lot of conceptual art. I've followed it for years, endlessly. I mean where do you want to start really?" asks Andy Summers in an interview conducted last week. "I spent quite a few years painting and all I did was think about art and go to museums. I was enmeshed in all of it. But I finally felt that doing photography was what I really enjoyed."
Jan 16, 2009
In September last year, Anglo- Japanese painter Peter McDonald won the U.K.'s £25,000 John Moores prize for contemporary painting with a work, "Fontana," that depicted in simplistic shapes an artist thrusting a knife into a circular canvas. Or it could be someone attacking a giant eye. Or perhaps an update on Miro's floating blobs. And, quite probably, all three.
Jan 1, 2009
"If we live in a creative universe, we are constantly pushing the chaos out of the way to protect ourselves from the nonlogical — the natural," muses Vik Muniz at an interview late last year at Tokyo Wonder Site. "Even when you think, you create waste. But everything is made in a way to conceal the waste."
Oct 17, 2008
Egypt may be known for its history, but this week in Tokyo some of its most advanced cultural technology will be on display. The Egyptian Center for Documentation of Cultural and Natural Heritage is touring Japan with CULTURAMA, a semi- circular set of screens displaying the interiors of ancient tombs, the history of the pharaohs, and panoramic scenes of Cairo from the Nile, Alexandria and more.
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