Nakamura Hochu: The Osakan Rinpa pioneer

Art Dec 4, 2019

Nakamura Hochu: The Osakan Rinpa pioneer

by Matthew Larking

The Rinpa school of painting's initial phase was formed by the superlative talents of Honami Koetsu (1558-1637) and Tawaraya Sotatsu (c. 1570-c. 1630) in late 16th-century Kyoto. The aesthetics resonated with the grand and powerful ornamental inclinations of the Momoyama Period (1573-1603) — gold ...

Ryonosuke Shimomura: An eclectic rule breaker

Art / Events Nov 27, 2019

Ryonosuke Shimomura: An eclectic rule breaker

by Matthew Larking

At school, Ryonosuke Shimomura conceived art techniques that led one teacher to think he was color blind. Yet his unusual approach led him to become a principal of the Pan Real Art Association — Japan's influential avant-garde Japanese-style painting groups.

Yukinori Yanagi: Resurrecting Akitsushima

Art Nov 20, 2019

Yukinori Yanagi: Resurrecting Akitsushima

by John L. Tran

For Yukinori Yanagi, whose work from the late '80s and '90s featured ants burrowing through national flags made of sand, nature is not synonymous with an anthropomorphically friendly "harmony" or "balance"; it's disruption, chaos, decay and metastasis.

So much to say — so many ways to show it

Art Oct 15, 2019

So much to say — so many ways to show it

by John L. Tran

Same-sex relationships, American bases in Okinawa, globalization, the Olympics, the atomic bomb, national identity, the exploitation of natural resources — "Image Narratives: Literature in Japanese Contemporary Art" at The National Art Center, Tokyo, does not lack for hot button topics.

Bontaro Dokuyama: The art of expression

Art Aug 19, 2019

Bontaro Dokuyama: The art of expression

by Jennifer Pastore

After the Great East Japan Earthquake, Fukushima native Bontaro Dokuyama began to focus on becoming an artist, explaining that he didn't see much expression from his home area: "If the audience enjoys having their thoughts provoked, that is enjoyable for me as an artist."

Genta Ishizuka: Beneath and on the surface

Art Aug 13, 2019

Genta Ishizuka: Beneath and on the surface

by Matthew Larking

Contemporary urushi lacquerware artist Genta Ishizuka — winner of the 2019 Kyoto's Best Young Artist Award and Loewe Foundation Craft Prize — re-imagines the decorative beauty of traditional lacquer in unusual and sculptural pieces.