Matthew Larking

For Matthew Larking's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

Kichizaemon Raku reads between Wols' lines

Art Oct 30, 2018

Kichizaemon Raku reads between Wols' lines

Kichizaemon Raku, the eldest son of Kakunyu XIV, succeeded to the role as the 15th head of the revered Raku family of tea bowl craftsmen in 1981, a tradition founded in the Momoyama Period (1573-1603) by Tanaka Chojiro (d. 1592). His latest exhibition, "Raku ...

The cutting edge of Kyoto swordmaking

Art Oct 16, 2018

The cutting edge of Kyoto swordmaking

Showcasing 170 blades, 19 of which are National Treasures and 61 are Important Cultural Properties, "Swords of Kyoto: Master Craftsmanship from an Elegant Culture" is the largest sword exhibition in the Kyoto National Museum's 120-year history.

Keiichi Tanaami's visually trippy past

Art Sep 25, 2018

Keiichi Tanaami's visually trippy past

Sometimes innocent, sometimes pornographic, influences percolated, exploded and re-formed in multiple and mutant ways during Keiichi Tanaami's career, which took off in the 1960s and is still going strong.

The painterly prayers of Higashiyama

Art Sep 11, 2018

The painterly prayers of Higashiyama

Kaii Higashiyama's best-known works are often called "quintessentially Japanese landscapes," but they were also examples of the artist's conservative dialogue with European and American abstraction.

An education in modernist art teaching

Art Aug 28, 2018

An education in modernist art teaching

The Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto surveys German, Japanese and Indian Bauhaus developments as part of a wider collation of international exhibitions and research in preparation for next year's Bauhaus centenary anniversary in Berlin.

Tanaka Isson: Better late than never

Art Aug 21, 2018

Tanaka Isson: Better late than never

Limited success in Tokyo led Tanaka Isson (1908-77) to burn his sketchbooks, sell his house, and move to Oshima, where he lived in near poverty painting in a vibrant style that posthumously captured the nation's heart.

Yokoyama Taikan: Driven by loyalty

Art Jun 26, 2018

Yokoyama Taikan: Driven by loyalty

Yokoyama Taikan (1868-1958) is inarguably the definitive artist in creating pictorial and organizational frameworks inaugurating and furthering modern nihonga (Japanese painting.

Kasuga's grand treasures hold history high

Art May 29, 2018

Kasuga's grand treasures hold history high

Around a half-century after Heijo (present-day Nara) became Japan's capital in 710, Minister of the Left Fujiwara no Nagate constructed Kasuga Grand Shrine at the behest of Empress Shotoku in 768. The shrine complex went up at the foot of the sacred Mount Mikasa, ...

The funny side of Edo Period culture

Art May 8, 2018

The funny side of Edo Period culture

Sometimes vulgar or ridiculous, and occasionally cliched, the toba-e of Nichosai, Kuniyoshi, Hokusai and Kyosai at the Osaka City Museum of Fine Arts offer a panorama of what the historically amusing.

Ike no Taiga: The 'true view' travel painter

Art Apr 24, 2018

Ike no Taiga: The 'true view' travel painter

"The Genius of Ike no Taiga: Carefree Traveler, Legendary Painter," at Kyoto National Museum, is magisterial. Edo Period (1603-1868) Kyoto teemed with big name painters, but Taiga (1723-1776) was superlative. Taiga began the practice of calligraphy when a child, and was pseudo-certified in 1729 as ...