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Few of us can understand why the Taliban in Afghanistan is destroying the awe-inspiring giant Buddhist statues at Bamiyan instead of turning them into profitable tourist sites generating millions of dollars in T-shirt and other souvenir sales. Someone who might, however, is Satoshi Watanabe, whose own iconoclastic exhibition of art, currently on show at the Mitaka City Arts Center in western Tokyo, takes aim at idol-worshipping of a different kind.

Watanabe creates his signature works using a painstaking masking method. After applying thousands of tiny white circular stickers to a canvas in a grid pattern, he paints a picture over it, usually of a famous sightseeing spot, such as Loch Ness or Machu Picchu. He then removes the dots, creating a softening effect, like a weakly printed image.

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