Matthew Larking

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

Maruyama Okyo's legacy of drawing from life

Art Nov 13, 2019

Maruyama Okyo's legacy of drawing from life

In his 1808 book, "Chronicle of Audacity and Timidity" ("Tandai Shoshinroku"), scholar and poet Ueda Akinari satirized, "When Okyo came on the scene, sketching from life (shasei) became popular, and all the paintings in Kyoto began being done by the same method!" The realist impulse ...

The scrolls that keep immortal poets truly alive

Art Oct 29, 2019

The scrolls that keep immortal poets truly alive

The Kyoto National Museum brings together the largest number of fragments of the 13th-century scrolls "Satake Version, Thirty-Six Immortal Poets," since it was cut up into pieces and dispersed among the wealthy in 1919.

Shaun Tan's glimmers of hope in somber times

Art Oct 1, 2019

Shaun Tan's glimmers of hope in somber times

Tan's imaginative worlds are usually a little dark, featuring dystopias, alienation, suffering, bureaucracy and monsters — but the camaraderie between family, friends and strangers lead to hope and happy endings.

An enlightening buildup to Viennese modernism

Art Sep 17, 2019

An enlightening buildup to Viennese modernism

"Vienna on the Path to Modernism" at The National Museum of Art, Osaka, is essentially an illustrated history of sociopolitical developments leading to the city flourishing as one of the world's great cultural centers from the mid-18th century.

Genta Ishizuka: Beneath and on the surface

Art Aug 13, 2019

Genta Ishizuka: Beneath and on the surface

Contemporary urushi lacquerware artist Genta Ishizuka — winner of the 2019 Kyoto's Best Young Artist Award and Loewe Foundation Craft Prize — re-imagines the decorative beauty of traditional lacquer in unusual and sculptural pieces.

Yokoyama Kazan: The Edo Period influencer

Art Jul 16, 2019

Yokoyama Kazan: The Edo Period influencer

The Edo Period painter Yokoyama Kazan's imaginative works depicting Kyoto, inspired not only artists but also intellectuals and writers, including the novelist Natsume Soseki.