John L. Tran

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

Bridget Riley: The art world's illusionist

Jun 19, 2018

Bridget Riley: The art world's illusionist

A very concise review of the Bridget Riley exhibition at the Kawamura Memorial DIC Museum of Art, would be this: Barring those who are prone to motion sickness, go and see it. This applies equally to predisposed art buffs who already know and appreciate ...

Noritaka Minami's city of broken dreams

May 15, 2018

Noritaka Minami's city of broken dreams

Noritaka Minami's aerial photographs of the failed urban project of California City in the Mojave Desert are quietly devastating. Purposefully using high-ISO film that shows grain even at low enlargement, his images of a planned city — mostly a network of uninhabited roads — ...

The Spanish Golden Age of earthy realism

May 1, 2018

The Spanish Golden Age of earthy realism

"Velazquez and the Celebration of Painting: The Golden Age in the Museo Del Prado" celebrates 150 years of Japan-Spain diplomatic relations with an exploration of the authority of vision and humanity of the divine.

Michiko Kon: Mistress of the dark

Mar 27, 2018

Michiko Kon: Mistress of the dark

The abominable beauty of Michiko Kon's work is back. In the early 1990s Kon was one of the first female photographic artists from Japan to achieve widespread international recognition. Her work combined a shocking use of animal parts with meticulous technique in a way that ...

Koga: A pithy affair with the avant-garde

Mar 20, 2018

Koga: A pithy affair with the avant-garde

There are two good reasons to see the exhibition on the short-lived photography magazine Koga, now on at the Tokyo Photographic Art (TOP) Museum. One is that it is full of powerful images that will linger in the memory despite their relative simplicity. The ...

Time to welcome our robot overlords?

Mar 6, 2018

Time to welcome our robot overlords?

"Hello World — For the Post-Human Age" at Art Tower Mito looks at developments in art in the context of digital technology and artificial intelligence. It starts with a lightly comedic farce, in the form of Cecile B. Evans' 2016 multimedia installation "Sprung a ...

The best pick and mix of modern art

Feb 20, 2018

The best pick and mix of modern art

The current exhibition at the Hara Museum of Contemporary Art could be considered a retrospective of Toshio Hara's career as a collector. Surprisingly, given that the museum was founded in 1979, it's the first time that the director and president has personally curated a ...

Roni Horn: Ways to present the self

Feb 6, 2018

Roni Horn: Ways to present the self

While visiting the Rathole Gallery, a confident 3 year-old told me that his favorite work in the current exhibition, Roni Horn’s “The Selected Gifts,” was a picture of meatballs. Among the straightforward, but nonetheless very beguiling, studio photographs of objects that the New-York based artist ...