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Sharpen your knowledge of Japanese swords

Feb 14, 2017

Sharpen your knowledge of Japanese swords

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If you've ever wanted to learn about Japanese swords, now's the time, as an unusually large number of top-quality blades are currently on view at two Tokyo museums. Either exhibition is well worth a visit but together they're dynamite. "Perfect Guide to Japanese Sword" at ...

Between realism and abstraction

Feb 14, 2017

Between realism and abstraction

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Since impressionism had, at its extremities, given rise to the expressionists Vincent Van Gogh and Paul Gauguin, the postwar painter Jean-Michel Atlan said great art could only be made in the margins. In early postwar Europe, abstraction and figuration were the embattled avant-gardes. Working at ...

The textural flair of Tiziano Vecellio

Feb 7, 2017

The textural flair of Tiziano Vecellio

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Bold in color and expressive in texture, the works of Venetian painters have their own distinctive place within Renaissance art. Taking the lead was Titian (1488/90 -1576), who became official painter to the Venetian Republic, and whose fame spread across the Europe of his ...

Yasuyuki Namikawa: A master of cloisonne color and design

Feb 7, 2017

Yasuyuki Namikawa: A master of cloisonne color and design

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There are two ways that the skill of craftsmanship can be emphasized: by showing it off through masses of meticulous decorative details, or by stripping everything to the bare minimum and bringing into focus just a few perfectly executed qualities. Think of it as ...

Feb 7, 2017

Photo collection captures memories of persecuted Yazidis

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Memories of the Yazidis, an ethno-religious minority who fled their homeland in the Sinjar Mountains in northwest Iraq following an invasion by the Islamic State in August 2014, have been preserved in a newly published photo collection. A toy, a shoe and a spoon — ...

Naoki Ishikawa: the full picture

Jan 31, 2017

Naoki Ishikawa: the full picture

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Naoki Ishikawa does not seem to want to take fantastically dramatic photographs. He has travelled from the North to South Pole, climbed "The Seven Summits," the highest mountains of every continent, and traveled the length of the Japan, but his images are remarkable for ...

Japanese graffiti artist 281_Anti Nuke takes aim at Trump

Jan 28, 2017

Japanese graffiti artist 281_Anti Nuke takes aim at Trump

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Japanese graffiti artist 281_Anti Nuke says his politically charged placards plastered around central Tokyo are meant to serve as a warning to the dangers of new U.S. President Donald Trump. Amid the bustling night life of Shibuya, a major shopping and entertainment hub in Tokyo, ...

The new testament to Bowie's star power

Jan 17, 2017

The new testament to Bowie's star power

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"I was probably stupid enough to believe that having the same birthday as him actually meant something," the younger Bowie once said about "a major hero" of his, Elvis Presley. They shared quite a number of things — a record label, a weakness for ...

Taking an art trip through time

Jan 17, 2017

Taking an art trip through time

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"The State of This World: Thought and the Arts," the second of the Ashiya City Museum of Art and History's "Art Trip" exhibitions, this time focuses on four contemporary artists' works that are in some instances inspired by archaeology. They address issues of seen ...

'Eternal Treasures from Kasugataisha Shrine'

Jan 17, 2017

'Eternal Treasures from Kasugataisha Shrine'

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Jan. 17-March 12 Registered in 1998 as a World Heritage Site, Kasuga Grand Shrine was built in the eighth century as a prayer offering for the protection of Heijokyo, (the capital of Japan, 710-784) and for the prosperity of its people. The Tokyo National Museum ...