John L. Tran

For John L. Tran's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

Julian Opie: A fascinating view of the mundane

Art Sep 3, 2019

Julian Opie: A fascinating view of the mundane

Julian Opie's schematic reductions of people, animals and landscapes to planes of color may be fun and casual, but it's not just eye-candy — he gets us to see much more than he shows us.

Minimalism: Not as straightforward as it seems

Art Aug 20, 2019

Minimalism: Not as straightforward as it seems

It's 100 years since the Bauhaus art and design school first opened in Weimar, Germany, and the new Muji flagship store in Ginza is as good a venue as any to hold an anniversary exhibition celebrating the values of simple, affordable modernist design.

Sachiko Kazama: Objections on paper

Art Jul 2, 2019

Sachiko Kazama: Objections on paper

Sachiko Kazama's epic black-and-white compositions scratch at the history of Japanese fascism, refusing to let it hide behind prevarication and bad text books.

Tadanori Yokoo: From the shadows within

Art Jun 25, 2019

Tadanori Yokoo: From the shadows within

The blotchy, salty self-portrait that confronts you as you enter Tadanori Yokoo's exhibition of recent work "B29 and Homeland: From My Childhood to Andy Warhol" (2018) has a hangman's noose in the top left corner. This recalls one of the artist's most renowned works, ...

Ryuji Miyamoto: Looking back to go forward

Art Jun 4, 2019

Ryuji Miyamoto: Looking back to go forward

"Invisible Land" at the TOP Museum doesn't showcase Ryuji Miyamoto's best-known works. Instead, it offers insight into the photographer's development of a style that led to international recognition.

Yu Araki: What you get is what you see

Art May 28, 2019

Yu Araki: What you get is what you see

The minimalist elegance of Yu Araki's "Le Souvenir Du Japon" at first seems to be an affirmation of civilization and the redemptive possibilities of beauty; however, within the gorgeous setup is a postcolonial ambivalence about the social and historical conditions of "taste."

'Roppongi Crossing': The right connections

Art Apr 21, 2019

'Roppongi Crossing': The right connections

If you're going to see big cartoon characters in an art gallery, the Mori Art Museum (MAM) is a good place to do it. The museum's voluminous spaces lend themselves well to visually dramatic works that catch your attention in a flash before taking you ...