John L. Tran

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

Be in the right frame of mind for  Roger Ballen

Nov 7, 2017

Be in the right frame of mind for Roger Ballen

In one of Roger Ballen's most well-known images, a picture of F. de Bruin of the Orange Free State prison service, the elderly sergeant looks out at us with the forlorn look of a tired beagle, not at all the face of an enforcer ...

In the right light, every detail counts

Oct 3, 2017

In the right light, every detail counts

At the tail end of an unexpectedly long conversation, the last question I ask photographer Keizo Kitajima is why it's important for him to have even lighting across the image. The photographs he is showing at the Photographers' Gallery in Shinjuku are part of ...

Kyoichi Sawada: Vietnam and home

Sep 26, 2017

Kyoichi Sawada: Vietnam and home

Kyoichi Sawada's 1965 photo of a Vietnamese family fleeing the bombing of their village in Binh Dinh province, during the war between North Vietnam and South Vietnam and the U.S. and its allies, has become a landmark image of 20th-century history. A mother, grandmother, ...

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 ...