John L. Tran

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

Le Corbusier: Foundations of an architect

Art Mar 19, 2019

Le Corbusier: Foundations of an architect

The National Museum of Western Art's survey of Le Corbusier is a revealing origins story that suggests his architectural creative vision may have had its roots in painting.

In 2018, art came via many anniversaries in Japan

Art Dec 12, 2018

In 2018, art came via many anniversaries in Japan

This year saw a lot of anniversaries in Japan. It was 1868 when Crown Prince Mutsuhito became the Emperor Meiji, the official policy of national isolation ended and the country was set on a course to become a modern industrialized nation-state. This birthday seems ...

Shinzo Fukuhara: Shiseido's patron of beauty

Art Nov 28, 2018

Shinzo Fukuhara: Shiseido's patron of beauty

As an artist, Shinzo Fukuhara may not be a household name, but his production of a photography magazine, founding of the Shiseido Gallery and writings on aesthetics were seminal to the development of art photography in Japan.

Waking up to Asia's growing role in art

Art Nov 6, 2018

Waking up to Asia's growing role in art

One year after The National Art Center, Tokyo, and the Mori Art Museum presented the expansive "Sunshower: Contemporary Art From Southeast Asia 1980s to Now," The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, (MOMAT) has unveiled "Awakenings: Art in Society in Asia 1960s-1990s." Both projects were ...

Duchamp and Japan: No rest for the urinal

Art Oct 28, 2018

Duchamp and Japan: No rest for the urinal

If you want someone to blame for Banksy's stunt of shredding "Girl With Balloon" after selling it for $1.4 million at auction, your prime suspect currently has a major retrospective at the Tokyo National Museum. Skepticism of the British graffiti artist's aesthetic value may not ...

Japonismes 2018 seeks to break down  cultural stereotypes

Culture Oct 20, 2018

Japonismes 2018 seeks to break down cultural stereotypes

A stupendous full autumn moon, bright orange and fat, flashes intermittently between the nondescript high-rise flats and offices on the drive to Charles de Gaulle Airport. It's an apt and beautiful reminder of one of the events that we, a group of Tokyo-based editors ...

A master of Zen wisdom and dad jokes

Art Oct 2, 2018

A master of Zen wisdom and dad jokes

Among Sengai's many depictions of tubby old men enjoying themselves is one outlier titled "An Old Man's Excuse," which shows a crotchety grump saying, "If it comes time for you to die, then it's good for you to die, but it's even better if ...