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Jeff Michael Hammond
Japan Times
CULTURE / Art
Mar 12, 2014
The many reinventions of Masamu Yanase
If ever an artist was in a constant state of reinvention, it was Masamu Yanase (1900-1945), now the subject of a full-scale exhibition at The Museum of Modern Art, Hayama. "Yanase Masamu: A Retrospective 1900-1945" brings together more than 500 of the artist's works, large and small, for a comprehensive...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Art
Feb 26, 2014
Hi-Red Center's quiet actions still reverberate today
Few artists would consider cleaning the city streets, designing custom-built nuclear shelters or fighting charges of counterfeiting money as part of their activities. But then most artists don't share the concerns that the members of Hi-Red Center (HRC) had as one of the most radical art groups to have...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Art
Jan 22, 2014
Encounters with the modern that both frustrated and inspired Japanese artists
When Japanese audiences turn their attention to modern art they tend to favor the 'original' works from the West, while foreign viewers all too often find Japan's foray into oil painting too similar to the Western model.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Art
Sep 18, 2013
Tokyo Photo 2013 heads for Zojoji Temple
Japan's first international photography fair, Tokyo Photo, strengthens its hold on the photography scene in Asia with its fifth yearly installment from Sept. 27 to 30 at a new location at the Zojoji Temple in the downtown area of the city.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Art
Aug 28, 2013
The Powers behind American Pop Art
Brash, bold and unabashedly low-brow, much of Pop Art took inspiration from the imagery of popular culture to forge what many consider to be the preeminent art form of the mid-20th century.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Art
May 2, 2013
An art expedition to Southeast Asia
Confronting the ongoing state of transformation that characterizes their native Singapore, two artists exhibiting at a new exhibition, "Welcome to the Jungle," adopt quite different approaches and media. Francis Ng in "Constructing Construction #1" turns his camera on an unfinished section of an ugly...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Art
Apr 4, 2013
Exploring India's rapid urbanization, alienation
The art space now known as Espace Louis Vuitton Tokyo was originally part of the luxury brand's store, designed by Jun Aoki and opened in 2002 in the fashionable Tokyo shopping district of Omotesando. It was reimagined in 2011 as a space for the company to showcase contemporary art, and is now holding...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Art
Jan 23, 2013
The art and poetics of a domestic environment
Jaws dropped as American filmmaker Jim Jarmusch, arriving in Japan in the 1980s, named Yasujiro Ozu as one of the directors he was most inspired by. Ozu, active from the 1920s up to the 1960s, was then considered old fashioned for his slow pace and lack of movement, and for the middle-class sensibilities...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Art
Jan 10, 2013
Looking out for the sound of art
In Titian's "Bacchus and Ariadne," the riotous clash of cymbals and blowing of trumpets in the hands of the revelers can almost be heard. In similar ways, artists from at least the Renaissance onward, have attempted to suggest the presence of music in their paintings. By the modern period, many artists...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Art
Nov 22, 2012
Step into the Lynchian world of oddities
While mostly recognized as the director of such films as "Eraserhead," "Wild at Heart" and "Mullholland Drive," David Lynch has long turned his hand to other media. About 80 of his works, encompassing photography, painting, music and short films are being brought together for an exhibition at the Laforet...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Art
Nov 1, 2012
Res Artis plots a path for future art residencies
The 1990s saw a tremendous emphasis, continuing through to today, on artist residency programs, run by museums and galleries, educational establishments or independent foundations and organizations.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Art
Sep 27, 2012
Tadanori Yokoo prepares to 'move on' in different ways
Tadanori Yokoo, bad boy of the Japanese art scene since the 1960s, is showing nine works, most of which were made within the last couple of years, at Scai The Bathhouse in the Yanaka district of Tokyo. The small exhibition, titled "Destination the Teshima Art House Project" serves to not only showcase...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Art
Sep 20, 2012
The art of photography
This weekend sees the fourth installment of "Tokyo Photo" — Japan's first international photography fair, and now the biggest event of its kind in Asia. Since its inception in 2009, the fair has cast its net wide, and this year has more than 35 agencies and galleries taking part. Over half of them...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Art
Jul 26, 2012
Japan's one-time rebellious artistic vanguard
The term "art group" barely does justice to the collective of artists in postwar Japan known as Gutai. Founded in 1954 by Jiro Yoshihara, the group renegotiated the borders of art, incorporating performance, installation and even the natural environment into their creations.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Art
Jun 14, 2012
Max Ernst: The artist who raised eyebrows with 'pictorial' texture
Despite several major exhibitions of his work that have been held in Japan since the 1970s, Max Ernst is still widely considered here to be one of the most difficult and obscure of the Surrealists. Constantly exploring new ideas, methods and materials, his art is perhaps less instantly recognizable than...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Art
Apr 19, 2012
Looking beyond the giant canvases
The image of Jackson Pollock as the archetypal American artist, making big gestures on giant canvases, is firmly entrenched in the public consciousness. Dripping paint on canvases laid out on the floor, working in rather than working on his art, Pollock epitomizes the rebellious artist, disregarding...
CULTURE / Art
Apr 19, 2012
Looking beyond the giant canvases
The image of Jackson Pollock as the archetypal American artist, making big gestures on giant canvases, is firmly entrenched in the public consciousness. Dripping paint on canvases laid out on the floor, working in rather than working on his art, Pollock epitomizes the rebellious artist, disregarding...
Japan Times
MULTIMEDIA
Oct 13, 2011
When the 'City of Water' was a font of culture
From the Byzantine times in the 9th century, Venice was a strategic trading center straddling Europe and the East. Venetian merchants traded wool and silk textiles for spices, grains and other commodities from Asia, making the city — and the Venetian Republic of which it was the center —...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Art
Jun 23, 2011
Impressionists and friends: on the verge of the modern
There seems to be an exhibition of Impressionist art somewhere in Tokyo every year, such is its popularity in Japan.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Art
May 5, 2011
From within the 'outsider' came a wealth of imagination
"American Innocence, Welcome To The Realms of the Unreal" at the Laforet Museum brings together 64 paintings and some personal objects of the "outsider artist" Henry Darger, who was born in Chicago in 1892.

Longform

The Japanese government updated its English education guidelines in 2017 to emphasize communication over grammar and memorization. Public school teachers are incredibly busy, however, which means schools haven’t been able to implement changes uniformly. Private and alternative schools are attempting to remedy this.
The language of opportunity: Bilingual education is on the rise in Japan