Japan's clean aesthetic hid the ugly mess of war

Art Jul 28, 2015

Japan's clean aesthetic hid the ugly mess of war

by John L. Tran

Why would anybody want to go to war? For some of us it's incomprehensible. For others, there will be circumstances that make war justifiable — or even desirable. History tells us that the former demographic is usually added to by members of the latter, who ...

Things that changed photography

Art Jul 28, 2015

Things that changed photography

by John L. Tran

In the late 1960s, the mono-ha (school of things) movement arose from the Japanese art-school scene, with the Korean-born artist Lee Ufan — who went from the philosophy department at Nihon University to teaching at Tama Art University — as its most renowned proponent. ...

'War and Postwar: The Prism of the Times'

Art / Openings Outside Tokyo Jul 14, 2015

'War and Postwar: The Prism of the Times'

by Megan Green

July 18-Jan. 31 To mark the anniversary of the end of World War II, the Izu Photo Museum is showcasing a wide selection of both war and postwar photojournalism and propaganda posters. A collaboration with the Japan Camera Industry Institute, the exhibition features well-known Japanese ...

Don't take everyday objects at face value

Art Jun 30, 2015

Don't take everyday objects at face value

by John L. Tran

Atsushi Okabe's graduation work is an experiment with Rubik's Cubes and abstraction. The result is graphic, colorful and pleasing to the eye. By zooming the lens of his camera while the shutter is open, Okabe creates latticed images that seem to plunge away from ...

The big difference a little time can make

Art Jun 2, 2015

The big difference a little time can make

by John L. Tran

The main premise behind "Time of Others" at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo (MoT) is that there is no fixed self — "otherness" can be a matter of recognizing that our identities and qualities as people can change. The curatorial team behind the ...

A prosaic picture of Japan's rural decline

Art May 12, 2015

A prosaic picture of Japan's rural decline

by John L. Tran

With all the current problems facing Japan's rural communities, "Salt of the Earth" at the Tokyo Gallery is a visual contribution to an ongoing debate on their value and survival. The rhetoric of the show espouses the humble virtues of life in Amami, a ...

'Ikko Narahara: Japanesque Zen'

Art / Openings In Tokyo May 12, 2015

'Ikko Narahara: Japanesque Zen'

by Daisuke Kikuchi

May 11-July 4 Having grown up in postwar Japan, Ikko Narahara experienced the wave of American culture that overwhelmed cities during and after the Occupation. With this change overshadowing many of the traditions of Japan, it wasn't until he was in Paris in 1965 that ...

Yoshihiko Ueda: a life with photography

Art Apr 21, 2015

Yoshihiko Ueda: a life with photography

by Stuart Munro

"What remains is future" were words written on a bag I saw someone carrying at Yoshihiko Ueda's new exhibition "A life with Camera." It's the same phrase that appeared on badges Patti Smith handed out in New York nearly 10 years ago. Fittingly, her ...

Kyotographie is jazzed up with notable photography

Art Apr 14, 2015

Kyotographie is jazzed up with notable photography

by John L. Tran

The curtain is about to rise on the 3rd Kyotographie festival of photography, and Lucille Reyboz, one of the two co-organizers, says that this is the most exciting but also most difficult time of the year. It's a time to be "dokidoki" as she puts ...

The peak that can move mountains

Art Feb 19, 2015

The peak that can move mountains

by John L. Tran

The current show, 'Fuji Paradigms: Visions of Mt. Fuji,' at the Izu Photo Museum is in two parts. One is an amalgamation of images in varied formats that depict Mount Fuji as a national symbol, and the other is a tightly focused collection that ...

'Fuji Paradigms: Visions of Mt. Fuji'

Art / Openings Outside Tokyo Jan 15, 2015

'Fuji Paradigms: Visions of Mt. Fuji'

by Daisuke Kikuchi

Mount Fuji, with its beautifully symmetrical ridge lines and snowy peak, has always attracted photographers from near and afar. With nearly 300 stills and posters from its collection, the Izu Photo Museum in Shizuoka celebrates this iconic landmark, charting its representation in the history ...

'The Collection 2015'

Art / Openings Outside Tokyo Jan 8, 2015

'The Collection 2015'

by Daisuke Kikuchi

The two rooms of "The Collection 2015" offer two different kinds of collections. Room 1 displays the "Fujifilm Photo Collection," a special show to celebrate Fuji-film Co.'s 80th anniversary last year, and is composed of images taken by 101 renowned Japanese photographers. Room 2, however, commemorates ...