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 ...

Kyotographie is still on the up and up

Art Apr 10, 2018

Kyotographie is still on the up and up

The sixth edition of Kyotographie, Kyoto's annual celebration of local and international photography, which opens in venues across the city on April 14, is titled "Up." This year, the collection of exhibitions address France-Japan relations: the 160th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations ...

When art met craft in Meiji Era Japan

Art Apr 3, 2018

When art met craft in Meiji Era Japan

The focus of "The 150th Anniversary of the Meiji Period: Making and Designing Meiji Arts and Crafts" at The National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto, concerns the relationship between nihonga (Japanese-style) painters of Kyoto and craft production during a time when craft and design ...

Turner: The landscaper of art genres

Art Mar 13, 2018

Turner: The landscaper of art genres

J.M.W. Turner (1775-1851) remains among the most adored of British landscapists. His natural draftsman talent, in union with the hard work ethic of his time led to recognition and formal training at the Royal Academy of Arts, where he was elected to become one ...

The multifaceted talents of Seiji Togo

Art Feb 27, 2018

The multifaceted talents of Seiji Togo

Seiji Togo (1897-1978) has been characterized as having two distinctive career phases corresponding to youth and maturity. The first was as a pioneer of European modern movements in Japan. The second was as a postwar painter of simplified and smoothly contoured female beauties that ...

An excavation of hu-man traits

Art Feb 13, 2018

An excavation of hu-man traits

The excavation of the tomb of the Tang Dynasty general Mu Tai (660-729, buried in 730) took place in Qingcheng County in China's Gansu Province in 2001. Unearthed were colorfully painted and realistically detailed small-scale sculptures of "foreign" peoples and their animals, such as ...

Van Gogh's long-distance love affair

Art Jan 30, 2018

Van Gogh's long-distance love affair

"Van Gogh & Japan" concerns a love affair of creative misperceptions between temporally and geographically distant admirers. Van Gogh (1853-1890) never went to Japan, though he idealized it briefly as a utopia in which artists worked communally in converse with nature. Attempting to establish what ...

The zero hour of Kobe's avant-garde

Art Jan 2, 2018

The zero hour of Kobe's avant-garde

Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art's present draw card is the Saint Petersburg collection, "Old Masters from the State Hermitage Museum." But on a lower level, at the far end of a long corridor gallery, are photos and grainy videos — the small-scale documentation of ...

Accounts and Images of Six Kannon in Japan

Books / Reviews Dec 23, 2017

Accounts and Images of Six Kannon in Japan

An 11th-century text, "A Tale of Flowering Fortunes," described the Six Kannon who "filled the worlds in the 10 directions with innumerable rays of light, which manifested in their colors the bodhisattva resolve to benefit all living beings everywhere." Accounts and Images of Six Kannon ...

The beginning, end and rebirth of sculpture

Art Nov 28, 2017

The beginning, end and rebirth of sculpture

The subtitle given to the retrospective of the 60-year career of Osaka-based Michio Fukuoka is oxymoronic: "A Sculptor Who No Longer Sculpts." He used to, but became frustrated and filled with doubt about creativity and so he made sculpture anyway, often about "doing nothing." Fukuoka's ...