A grab bag of recent news and features covering the visual arts and traditional crafts:
- Seventeen traditional Japanese techniques used to repair and restore shrines, temples and old houses were added to UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage list in December. Japan hopes to get the furyū-odori folk dance registered as its 23rd entry in UNESCO’s next batch in 2022.
- Zenagi, an exquisitely renovated historic house in Nagano’s Kiso Valley, has a wide network of contacts with local artisans across the crafts-rich region, some of whom hold workshops for adults and kids at Zenagi, writes Danielle Demetriou in Child’s Play. If that’s not your thing, there’s also a range of high-adrenaline athletic pursuits led by Olympic-level sportsmen to try out.
- Graduate students from art colleges in Japan, China and South Korea have collaborated on an animation project produced entirely online due to COVID-19 travel restrictions. Aimed at providing an uplifting message amid the pandemic, each of the five short animation sequences incorporates one of the five natural elements in Chinese philosophy as a theme.
- From Kengo Kuma’s recent Ace Hotel Kyoto project to the Chandigarh Capitol Complex in India, LA-based photographer and artist Yoshihiro Makino travels the world to capture spaces that we can now only dream of visiting due to pandemic-era restrictions. Jae Lee peppered him with 20 Questions, not including this one: So how do we get to live a life like yours?
- If you happen to be in New York, you have only days left to check out Part 1 of “We Do Not Dream Alone,” the inaugural Asia Society Triennial. And if you’re not, you can still get a taste of the works in the virtual tour or read The New York Times’ Jason Farago’s less-than-stellar review. Extra challenge: How many Japanese artists can you find among the lineup? Answers on a (very small) postcard, please.