John L. Tran

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

Brave new world of the post-human

Aug 29, 2017

Brave new world of the post-human

Tobias Klein's "Augmented Mask," an installation that incorporates an elaborate 3-D printed mask, colorful projection mapping, a virtual reality headset and references a popular Chinese opera, looks a lot like future art as imagined in science fiction. Appearing at the small The Container venue in ...

Reconstructing the Japanese house

Aug 13, 2017

Reconstructing the Japanese house

After very successful runs in Rome and London, "The Japanese House: Architecture and Life after 1945," an exhibition of maquettes, photographs, plans and drawings, is now in the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo. For providing an extensive look at varied and eclectic forms that ...

Southeast Asian art gets its biggest showing in Japan

Jul 30, 2017

Southeast Asian art gets its biggest showing in Japan

A few years ago, at the press conference for Taiwanese artist Lee Mingwei's solo show at the Mori Art Museum (MAM), Fumio Nanjo, the museum director, talked about the direction the museum would be taking from then on; they were no longer so interested ...

A bite of the virtual reality sandwich

Jul 18, 2017

A bite of the virtual reality sandwich

What happens when you take the Nazi zombies, coin collecting, cuddly creatures, xenomorphs, etc., out of video games and you just wander around virtual reality? While pondering that, we could also ask, "How realistic is it to be Utopian?," "What is life without work?" and "How ...

The scope of cultural displacement

Jun 27, 2017

The scope of cultural displacement

Mercedes Benz Art Scope is an exchange program that allows Japanese artists to spend time in Germany and German artists to visit Japan. The Hara Museum of Contemporary Art has been a partner in this project since 2003, and in this year's group show, Stuttgart-based ...

Understanding Bruegel's Babel

Jun 20, 2017

Understanding Bruegel's Babel

Tokyoites, that is to say the 13 or so million people who somehow manage to live with the certain knowledge that chaos and confusion will be wrought on the city by a massive earthquake in the not too-distant future, have the opportunity to ponder ...

A Leiter shade of New York

May 30, 2017

A Leiter shade of New York

Mix up Miles Davis, some French post-impressionism, Max Ernst, haiku by Matsuo Basho, experimental scores of Morton Feldman, Cubism, Utamaro shunga (erotic art) and Hokusai ukiyo-e, plus some Norman Rockwell, Mark Rothko and Franz Kline. Steep for 60-odd years. Saul Leiter's work is all ...

On the Daoism of 'Dudeism'

May 16, 2017

On the Daoism of 'Dudeism'

As the phrase goes, "s—- happens." Walead Beshty explores different ways that it may happen, and in doing so, he gently suggests that we consider the implications. His solo show at Rat Hole Gallery exemplifies this. There are two series of works: a selection ...