Matthew Larking

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

Japanese artisanship: As real as it can get

Art Mar 26, 2019

Japanese artisanship: As real as it can get

From perfect replicas of fruit to tiny articulated dragons, Japan's ceramic, metal, wood and other craft industries excel at making decorative items that are so detailed and realistic, they can fool the naked eye.

Ways to never forget Christian Boltanski

Art Mar 5, 2019

Ways to never forget Christian Boltanski

Memories eroded, recovered, or forged from or for other peoples and times are the major themes of "Christian Boltanski: Lifetime," the artist's first full-scale Japan retrospective at The National Museum of Art, Osaka.

The complicated perception of heroism

Art Feb 26, 2019

The complicated perception of heroism

As the Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art's final Heisei Era (1989-2019) exhibition, this ambitious and somewhat provocative show looks back on the socio-political roles art played in the midst of the past 90 or so years.

Gentaro Komaki: A pioneer of surrealism

Art Feb 5, 2019

Gentaro Komaki: A pioneer of surrealism

Gentaro Komaki (1906-89), the son of a Kyoto Prefecture silk crepe wholesaler, lived a decadent youth of literature and philosophy, until seeing the work of Max Ernst and Yves Tanguy inspired to pursue surrealist art.

Left-field visions of Kyoto's rising artists

Art Jan 22, 2019

Left-field visions of Kyoto's rising artists

The Museum of Kyoto's latest exhibition presents a promising cast of 45 emerging local artists working in miscellaneous mediums from lacquer to small-scale mixed-media installations.

Japan's artistic rebels of the 1980s

Art Nov 20, 2018

Japan's artistic rebels of the 1980s

While nothing so much as an epochal rupture occurred, 1980s' artists in Japan were reactive to the lingering concerns of the '70s — in that decade, oil painting and sculpture were mostly passe, while modernism appeared exhausted.

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.