Five features on art, indoors and outdoors, legal and otherwise:
- “I want the project to be acknowledged globally as something that can bring the world together through the Japanese elements of anime and samurai,” says Tokyo-based Kama Yamamoto. His project: representing countries from around the world and their flags with anime characters donning traditional Japanese garb and wielding weapons. Peace, brother.
- A multidisciplinary collection of work from Japanese and American artists now showing in Tokyo explores the body and transgression of boundaries at a time when self-isolation is the order of the day. Although the exhibition was planned before COVID-19, there is much in this exhibition that hits a nerve, writes John L. Tran, like a sharp tap on a tuning fork.
- The balance between encouraging creative expression and protecting buildings from vandalism can be a fine one. Can Tokyo manage to achieve just the right blend of light and shade as it deals with graffiti? Andrew McKirdy looks at how the capital is trying to encourage street murals — but only if in the right places — and talks to some Japanese masters of the art.
- Showcasing street art put to positive use, murals depicting former residents of a town left deserted by the 2011 Fukushima disaster have been painted on buildings on its main streets in an effort to maintain morale among evacuees, and maybe even help persuade them to come back. Residents will be able to return to Futaba, one of the towns hosting the No. 1 nuclear plant, next year.
- And finally, stuck in Japan amid the pandemic, a trio of foreign artists have found fame and sisterhood in Yamanashi Prefecture. The two Colombians and a Brazilian have fostered lifelong friendships and even become local celebrities thanks to an art project they undertook as a gesture of gratitude for the hospitality of neighbors, reports Tomohiro Osaki.