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Koga: A pithy affair with the avant-garde

Mar 20, 2018

Koga: A pithy affair with the avant-garde

by John L. Tran

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 ...

Turner: The landscaper of art genres

Mar 13, 2018

Turner: The landscaper of art genres

by Matthew Larking

J.M.W. Turner (1775-1851) remains among the most adored of British landscapists. His natural draftsman talent, in union with the hard work ethic of his time led to recognition and formal training at the Royal Academy of Arts, where he was elected to become one ...

Picturing Okinawa: The black and white of cultural identity

Mar 11, 2018

Picturing Okinawa: The black and white of cultural identity

by Stephen Mansfield

Tracing the history of Okinawa as it is represented in the differing genres of experimental, documentary and portrait photography, inevitably leads to the abiding themes of identity, ethnicity and political posture. Located on the outer periphery of the nation, Okinawa, a garrison island where people ...

Time to welcome our robot overlords?

Mar 6, 2018

Time to welcome our robot overlords?

by John L. Tran

"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 ...

Heavily damaged missing Monet returns home to Japan

Feb 27, 2018

Heavily damaged missing Monet returns home to Japan

A painting by French Impressionist master Claude Monet that belonged to a Japanese collector but was lost for decades after World War II is now back in Tokyo, a museum official said Tuesday. The oil painting, around 2 meters long (about 6½ feet) and 4.2 ...

The multifaceted talents of Seiji Togo

Feb 27, 2018

The multifaceted talents of Seiji Togo

by Matthew Larking

Seiji Togo (1897-1978) has been characterized as having two distinctive career phases corresponding to youth and maturity. The first was as a pioneer of European modern movements in Japan. The second was as a postwar painter of simplified and smoothly contoured female beauties that ...

The best pick and mix of modern art

Feb 20, 2018

The best pick and mix of modern art

by John L. Tran

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 ...

An excavation of hu-man traits

Feb 13, 2018

An excavation of hu-man traits

by Matthew Larking

The excavation of the tomb of the Tang Dynasty general Mu Tai (660-729, buried in 730) took place in Qingcheng County in China's Gansu Province in 2001. Unearthed were colorfully painted and realistically detailed small-scale sculptures of "foreign" peoples and their animals, such as ...

Roni Horn: Ways to present the self

Feb 6, 2018

Roni Horn: Ways to present the self

by John L. Tran

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 ...

Van Gogh's long-distance love affair

Jan 30, 2018

Van Gogh's long-distance love affair

by Matthew Larking

"Van Gogh & Japan" concerns a love affair of creative misperceptions between temporally and geographically distant admirers. Van Gogh (1853-1890) never went to Japan, though he idealized it briefly as a utopia in which artists worked communally in converse with nature. Attempting to establish what ...