artscape Japan
artscape Japanese site
Monthly Mail Contact Us
HOME FOCUS  PICKS MUSEUM DB ABOUT
HOME > PICKS
Picks :

Picks is a monthly sampling of Japan's art scene, offering commentary by a variety of reviewers about exhibitions at museums and galleries in recent weeks, with an emphasis on contemporary art by young artists.

1 August 2013
| 1 | 2 |
Shinro Ohtake: NEWNEW
13 July - 4 November 2013
Marugame Genichiro-Inokuma Museum of Contemporary Art
(Kagawa)
Since his stunning debut in the early 1980s, multimedia artist Ohtake has astonished and titillated with his expansive, colorful oeuvre. This exhibition celebrates Ohtake's quarter century of residence in Uwajima on the island of Shikoku, where the museum is also located. The show is heavy on BIG pieces, including a six-meter-high painting and a sculpture that fills the building's three-story atrium. These and other new works are being displayed for the first time in Japan.

Dojima River Biennale 2013: Little Water

20 July - 18 August 2013
Dojima River Forum
(Osaka)
This, the third biennale held on the banks of the river that runs through downtown Osaka, is directed by Taiwanese curator Rudy Tseng. The "Little Water" theme refers to the significance of water as a sustaining force in Asian culture; the show purports to examine water's role in such diverse realms as agriculture, literature, ecology, and human sensibilities.
Aoi Sasai: Camellia
4 June - 10 August 2013
Ando Gallery
(Tokyo)
The half-dozen oil paintings in this compact show all depict trees and leaves. Sasai brings a primitive Rousseau-like touch to her work: the leaves form unnatural, wig-like clumps that sway in a breeze suggested by the oblique streaks of light and dark that form the stormy gray backgrounds. Even the leaves are in gray-tinged shades of green, creating a mood at once subdued, ominous, and whimsical.
Kazuyoshi Usui: Showa 88

15 June - 8 August 2013

Shadai Gallery
(Tokyo)
This series of 18 folio-size prints indulges the fantasy that Japan's Showa era, redolent of postwar nostalgia, continues to this day instead of ending in 1989 in what was its 64th year (ergo, 2013 would be Showa 88). Usui focuses his lens on the red-light districts of Tobita-shinchi (Osaka), Gojo-rakuen (Kyoto), and Sakae-machi (Okinawa), where the scent of Showa remains strong even today. His subjects include some pretty tough-looking customers, but he bathes them in gaudy pink tones that give the images a deceptively bedazzling never-never-landish quality.
Sen Yokotani: Shinwa

5 June - 10 August 2013

gallery bauhaus
(Tokyo)
A play on words that sounds like the Japanese word for "myth" but is spelled "forest-story," shinwa is an apt title for this series of sepia-toned images of Asian forests surrounding ancient ruins. Yokotani has printed the photos on a special emulsion-coated watercolor paper painstakingly prepared through toning and varnishing. Sadly, this type of paper is no longer manufactured, so the photographer has begun making it himself. Due, he says, to the trial and error this has entailed, it has been four years since his last exhibition.
Summer Workshop Project 2013

20 July - 16 September 2013

Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art
(Hiroshima)
With "summer hideaway" as its theme, this show features the ongoing results of a summer-vacation-long workshop in which artist Akira Higashi encourages visitors of all ages to participate by creating objects with clay, cloth, plastic, cardboard and other everyday materials.
Site: Places with Memories, Spaces with Potential

20 July - 14 October 2013

Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art
(Hiroshima)
The East and West Peace Bridges that flank Hiroshima's Peace Memorial Park were designed by Isamu Noguchi. Architect Kenzo Tange, creator of the city's Peace Memorial Museum, also commissioned Noguchi to design the park's cenotaph in memory of the victims of the atomic bombing, but Noguchi was unable to complete the project. This exhibition introduces Noguchi's cenotaph plans as well as other examples of art inspired by sites imbued with powerful memories.
Lテゥonard Foujita 1913-1931

2 July - 25 August 2013

Kumamoto Prefectural Museum of Art
(Kumamoto)
Foujita's wartime paintings have enjoyed a positive reassessment of late, but this show goes much further back to a period even before his celebrated "milky-white" nudes, when he had just arrived in Paris. Here we see Foujita avidly absorbing and mixing all manner of styles as he figures out, in a visibly calculated manner, how to make his mark in a foreign land. We also learn that Foujita studied Egyptian art at the Louvre, and that he produced numerous drawings that parody the techniques of the big names of the day.
Rieko Koyama
25 June - 7 July 2013
The Artcomplex Center of Tokyo
(Tokyo)
Koyama's gargantuan acrylics are a sight to behold. In this exhibition a row of two-meter-high works brackets a centerpiece of three truly massive five-meter-long pieces, each formed by joining three canvases together. Koyama's early depictions of flowers have gradually given way to more abstract motifs that emphasize color and stroke. Here, however, pride of place goes to huge paintings of lotuses -- somewhat blurred, but undeniably lotuses.
Tomoaki Ishihara: Aura, Ectoplasm
22 June - 28 July 2013
MEM
(Tokyo)
A lumpy object consisting of a chain of leather-covered styrofoam balls dangles down the front of the naked body of the artist himself in these photographs. At the top of the chain protrudes something resembling a mouthpiece, which Ishihara has placed in his mouth. The effect is precisely that of an aura or ectoplasm extruded from the body: spirit given form.
| 1 | 2 |
Recent Articles
FOCUS
Shapes of Things: The Design of Toshiyuki Kita
Christopher Stephens
1 November 2021
FOCUS
Need a Getaway? Try Sakushima, an Island Art Enclave in Aichi
Susan Rogers Chikuba
1 November 2021
HERE/THERE
Realm of the Senses: The Photography of Eikoh Hosoe
Alan Gleason
1 November 2021
PICKS
Wada Makoto
1 November 2021
FOCUS
Spores No More: The Shiga Museum of Art Sprouts Anew
Colin Smith
1 October 2021
FOCUS
Kenzo Tange: Architect of a New Modern Era in Japan
James Lambiasi
1 October 2021
HERE/THERE
Reality Sliced and Diced: Hirofumi Isoya at SCAI Piramide
Alan Gleason
1 October 2021
PICKS
Machi Tawara: #One and Only "Like" and Size of the Future from Salad Anniversary
1 October 2021
>> Back Issues
THIS IS MECENAT 2021
ggg ddd CCGA DNP Museum Lab DNP Kyoto Uzumasa Cultural Heritage Gallery Maison des Musées du Monde
DNP Art Communications ©1996- DAI NIPPON PRINTING Co., Ltd.
artscape is the registered trademark of DAI NIPPON PRINTING Co., Ltd.