Jeff Michael Hammond

For Jeff Michael Hammond's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

Belgium's artistic flights of fancy

Aug 1, 2017

Belgium's artistic flights of fancy

Diabolic torture inflicted on the ungodly; unspeakable yearnings straight out of the subconscious — the country now known as Belgium has given the world over five centuries' worth of depictions of the unimaginable. "Fantastic Art in Belgium" at The Bunkamura Museum of Art places Hieronymus ...

Straddling East and West in art

Jul 25, 2017

Straddling East and West in art

Hybridity and eclecticism may be key concepts in much contemporary art, yet they are not new phenomena. In the Taisho Era (1912-1926), Tetsugoro Yorozu virtually personified the idea of hybrid art: As Japan rushed toward modernization, he not only experimented with the very latest ...

Big impressions live in the details

Feb 28, 2017

Big impressions live in the details

Distracted by the frenzy of today's hyper-connected world, many of us can easily overlook the everyday incidents that encourage smiles or offer simple affirmations of life being lived. The India-born artist N.S. Harsha, however, thrives on such observations. As his solo exhibition at the Mori ...

Under Lucas Cranach's spell

Dec 6, 2016

Under Lucas Cranach's spell

Lucas Cranach the Elder (1472-1553) is acknowledged as one of the greats of the German Renaissance. His combination of religious piety and fleshly eroticism went on to inspire artists across the globe, including many in Japan. Despite his standing worldwide, however, Cranach's career and ...

Suzuki Kiitsu: Bringing modernity to Rimpa

Sep 20, 2016

Suzuki Kiitsu: Bringing modernity to Rimpa

The artist Suzuki Kiitsu (1796-1858) was long considered a late and somewhat minor player in the Rimpa school, which emerged in Kyoto early in the Edo Period (1603-1868). The Suntory Museum of Art's current exhibition now re-evaluates Kiitsu's career and his contributions to this ...

Nam June Paik has the last laugh

Sep 13, 2016

Nam June Paik has the last laugh

Rapid, multilayered, fluid — the high-tech images created by Nam June Paik earned him the epithet the Father of Video Art. He may be most often associated with banks of television screens and intense, distorted video images, but as a new retrospective of his ...

Paris' Pompidou waves the flag of French art

Jun 28, 2016

Paris' Pompidou waves the flag of French art

Seven decades of art history; one masterpiece for every year, each created by a different artist from France or closely connected with the country; and all from the collection of an iconic Paris art institution — that's the premise of the current exhibition at ...

The Medici loved trinkets of power

May 10, 2016

The Medici loved trinkets of power

For over three centuries the Medici family dominated Renaissance Florence and much of its economic, political and cultural life. In the arts, the wealthy family is largely remembered for its patronage of painting, sculpture and grand architecture, but a new exhibition at the Tokyo ...

Whistler: The misunderstood artistic rebel

Jan 15, 2015

Whistler: The misunderstood artistic rebel

Though his paintings may not look radical to us today, in his time, James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903) often faced incomprehension — both through interpretations of his art and his own uncompromising stance toward it. Museumgoers in Japan now have a rare opportunity to decide ...

How Japan's art inspired the West

Aug 14, 2014

How Japan's art inspired the West

In the decades after Japan was forcibly opened to large-scale international trade in the early 1850s, a fever spread across Europe for items from the exotic country: its textiles, ceramics, paper fans, woodblock prints and more. Meanwhile, the term "Japonism" was coined to describe ...