John L. Tran

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

Yukinori Yanagi: Resurrecting Akitsushima

Art Nov 20, 2019

Yukinori Yanagi: Resurrecting Akitsushima

For Yukinori Yanagi, whose work from the late '80s and '90s featured ants burrowing through national flags made of sand, nature is not synonymous with an anthropomorphically friendly "harmony" or "balance"; it's disruption, chaos, decay and metastasis.

The power of cultural and economic capital

Art Nov 6, 2019

The power of cultural and economic capital

Compared to exhibitions in which art objects are meant to seduce us into epiphanic transcendence, the works in "Surface and Custom," a group show at Shiseido Gallery organized by Berlin-based artists Jay Chung and Q Takeki Maeda, are more akin to frank expositions about ...

So much to say — so many ways to show it

Art Oct 15, 2019

So much to say — so many ways to show it

Same-sex relationships, American bases in Okinawa, globalization, the Olympics, the atomic bomb, national identity, the exploitation of natural resources — "Image Narratives: Literature in Japanese Contemporary Art" at The National Art Center, Tokyo, does not lack for hot button topics.

'Reading Images': Take the time to read into photography

Art Oct 8, 2019

'Reading Images': Take the time to read into photography

The Tokyo Photographic Art Museum exhibition "The Time of Photography" starts with kitsch late 19th-century Yokohama shashin — hand-colored photos of Japanese scenes for sale to foreigners — and ends with the evanescence of Rinko Kawauchi's photography of everyday life made poetic through the ...