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John L. Tran
The eighth edition of the Yokohama Triennale, held at the Yokohama Museum of Art, opened in March this year with the theme “Wild Grass: Our Lives."
CULTURE / Art
May 14, 2024
Yokohama Triennale's eighth edition makes room for context
Curators Liu Ding and Carol Yinghua Lu's dynamic and vital show positions art at the vanguard of social change.
While the visual cues of cartoonishness, color and bounciness suggest fun and innocence, Saeborg’s “Saedog” performance nudges the audience toward contemplating captivity and confinement.
CULTURE / Art
May 2, 2024
Art award show offers trippy scenes of seeing and being seen
The two winners of the Tokyo Contemporary Art Award offer provocatively contrasting work at the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo.
Heidrun Holzfeind documents urban and rural scenes, such as two policemen on bicycles nonchalantly rolling down a street, in her video piece "The 49th Year." The footage is presented alongside incarcerated New Left group leader Toshihiko Kamata’s writings about Japan’s highly supervised society in the exhibition "News from K."
CULTURE / Art
Nov 26, 2023
'News From K' captures the oppression of landscape
Letters from prison by New Left group leader Toshihiko Kamata reveal a sense of limbo in Heidrun Holzfeind’s new work.
Munakata Shiko's "Oshira-sama: The Flying Silkworm Deities" (1968)
CULTURE / Art
Oct 26, 2023
Major retrospective traces hero's journey of 'Japan's van Gogh'
An exhibition of Shiko Munakata's works shows evidence of a charismatic character and a career that reflects Japan's changing relationship with the West.
Naoya Hatakeyama’s “Rikuzen Takata 2011-2023” is a display of hundreds of color contact prints of his hometown, Rikuzen Takata, Iwate Prefecture. The images show the shifting landscape of a place that was heavily affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011.
CULTURE / Art
Oct 13, 2023
Tokyo Biennale 2023 seeks healing through art
The contemporary art festival creates safe spaces for its artists and their works by embracing a “we accept anything” maxim.
Tokyo Gendai is described by fair organizers Art Assembly as Tokyo Bay’s first international contemporary art fair in 30 years.
CULTURE / Art
Jul 22, 2023
Can a new art fair finally put Tokyo on the map?
Tokyo Gendai puts on a good event but still needs to change Japanese opinions on contemporary art.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Art
Jul 22, 2023
Can a new art fair finally put Tokyo on the map?
Tokyo Gendai puts on a good event but still needs to change Japanese opinions on contemporary art.
Japan Times
JAPAN / PERSPECTIVES
Apr 3, 2023
Global competitiveness of Japan’s universities under scrutiny
The government is promising higher education institutions more capital to boost scientific research, but will this improve their international reputation?
Japan Times
CULTURE / Art
Oct 22, 2022
Sumida Mukojima Expo embraces an anarchic spirit
The local arts festival highlights the neighborhood of Kyojima's scrappy sense of character and its history of resilience.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Art
Aug 20, 2022
Memento mori: Photography in the face of the inevitable
The Tokyo Photographic Art Museum examines how we face our own mortality in the new exhibition “TOP Collection: The Illumination of Life by Death.”
Japan Times
CULTURE / Art
Jun 10, 2022
Artizon Museum's Jam Session puts photography into perspective
This year's edition of the museum's annual series, which invites contemporary artists to play off canonical pieces, nudges viewers into rethinking the art of seeing.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Art
Oct 1, 2021
Kyotographie taps into the echoes of hardship
The annual international photography festival reflects on times of major crisis.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Art
Mar 25, 2021
Tokyo's art scene looks back at recent history
Asian artists and curators examine the present through the lens of the past.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Art
Nov 12, 2020
Multidisciplinary collection in Tokyo depicts a paradox of restraint and restriction
The Fergus McCaffrey gallery has curated works that explore social and regional boundaries as well as the confinements of genre and convention.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Art
Sep 25, 2020
The subversive happiness of Tom of Finland’s men
The exhibition, which is the first solo show of Touko Valio Laaksonen artwork in Japan, comes on the 100th anniversary of the artist's birth.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Art
Apr 1, 2020
Japan’s art institutions struggle to cope with the COVID-19 crisis
Since the quarantine of the Diamond Princess, Japan has gone from being one of the world’s most at-risk countries to lucky outlier, to being again fearful of COVID-19 getting out of control.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Art
Mar 25, 2020
Lee Ufan: The same but different
Lee Ufan’s new paintings look very different depending on where you are standing. From a distance, when you can take in several of the large canvases at the same time, abstract shapes seem to emphatically announce themselves as existing; however, they are also pointedly ambiguous as to what they are....
Japan Times
CULTURE / Art
Feb 19, 2020
Barry McGee: Painting outside the lines
'Potato Sack Body' can be enjoyed as a semi-abstract display of shapes and colors, but there are also cryptic artifacts, notations and visual references. If you lived through the '60s and '70s, the overall design and color palette will remind you that those decades were the best, and worst, of times.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Art
Feb 5, 2020
Constructing the self in 'One's Behavior'
A chamber piece of artworks, 'One's Behavior' explores both the connection and alienation that pervades the human psyche.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Our Lives / 20 QUESTIONS
Jan 11, 2020
Yuko Kikuchi: Celebrating Japan's hybridity
As a professor of art and design, Yuko Kikuchi has some surprising things to say about mingei (Japanese folk art).

Longform

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