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

Picks is a monthly sampling of Japan's art scene, offering commentary by a variety of reviewers about current or recent exhibitions at museums and galleries around the country.

Note: As of 1 October, Japan is no longer under a state of emergency. Most museums and galleries are open, but some may still require reservations or have other anti-Covid measures in place. If you are planning a visit, please check the venue's website beforehand.

image
image image 1 December 2021
| 1 | 2 |
image
image
image
image
image
The Bonbonnière Story
13 September - 3 December 2021
Gakushuin University Museum of History
(Tokyo)
image
Bonbonnière is the name for a type of small lidded box or jar (they take many forms) whose function is not obvious at first glance. In fact, these are containers for candy, particularly of the sort dispensed at official events for royalty or government dignitaries. Their use originates with the Western custom of offering sugar candies at weddings, birthdays and other celebrations, which led to the production of highly ornamental containers for confections. This practice was adopted by Japan's imperial household during the Meiji era (1868-1912). Though the style remained indubitably Western, Japan developed its own unique bonbonnière designs and production techniques, as the examples in this show demonstrate.
image
image
image
image
image
Today's Miscellany
13 November 2021 - 6 March 2022
Tomonotsu Museum
(Hiroshima)
image
A presentation of the miscellaneous objects that emerge in the course of creative activities as well as daily life in support facilities for people with disabilities. These endeavors consist not only of paintings, drawings, sculptures and the like, but all manner of handmade items, as well as computer-generated creations. The care workers at these facilities, or artists in the community and elsewhere, sometimes serve as co-creators who help bring these efforts to fruition. Their contributions are often instrumental in giving the artistic expressions of people with disabilities a wider audience.
image
image
image
image
image
image
image

100 Years of Mingei: The Folk Crafts Movement

26 October 2021 - 13 February 2022
The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo
(Tokyo)
image
The religious philosopher Muneyoshi (Soetsu) Yanagi pioneered the new aesthetic known as Mingei, as well as establishing the three pillars of the movement he co-founded: a museum, a publishing house, and a distribution network. This voluminous presentation of Mingei works follows the movement's trajectory over six decades from the 1910s to the 1970s. Ceramics are in plentiful supply, ranging from Karatsu and Imari to Old Takeo ware. There is much to look at, and all of it is worth checking out. One also leaves with a clearer appreciation of the accomplishments of the Mingei movement itself. (For a detailed review, see this issue's Focus.)
image
image
image
image
image
Ways of Telling
9 October - 26 December 2021
Tokyo Shibuya Koen-dori Gallery
(Tokyo)
image
An assemblage of works by eight Japanese artists that give visual form to the diversity of means by which we perceive and "tell" about the world. Strolling through the exhibit space designed by architect Hideyuki Nakamura, one gains a visceral grasp of how we all have multiple modes of apprehending the world pre-installed inside us, and how these different modes shift with the stimulus. Rinko Kawauchi's presentation, through words and 3D images, of the experience of reading a picture book as shared by sighted and sight-impaired people is especially compelling.
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
Kazuyo Sejima + Ryue Nishizawa / SANAA: Architecture & Environment
22 October 2021 - 20 March 2022
Toto Gallery Ma
(Tokyo)
image
SANAA is on a roll these days. The architect team of Sejima and NIshizawa has been winning accolade upon accolade for work that consistently seeks to address the question of how architecture relates to its environment. In this presentation of models and photos of their recent projects, a number of designs do indeed make plain a concern with harmony with their surroundings -- topography, natural setting, and general ambience. Like it or not, architecture has the power to transform its environment, and Sejima and Nishizawa seem profoundly aware of this potentially overwhelming, even violent aspect of their profession. It would appear to behoove all architects to give serious thought to the impact of their works on the environment.
image
image
image
image
image
I'm Scared! The Horror of the Museum
25 September - 5 December 2021
Contemporary Art Museum, Kumamoto
(Kumamoto)
image
People become worn down by stress when they must live with fear and anxiety in their daily lives due to long-term disasters like the Covid pandemic, or the devastating Kumamoto Earthquake of 2016 and its aftermath. On the other hand, fear is a natural human emotion, and many artists have been inspired to creative heights by taking it as their theme. This unusual show features six such artists: Chimei Hamada, Keiichi Tanaami, Yoko Koda, Shinji Ishii, Namuthunder, and Odilon Redon. The curators hope that the humor in these diverse artistic expressions of fear will help give viewers an alternative outlook on the emotion, as well as the energy and initiative to deal with it.
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image

Shell Art Award Exhibition 2021

8 - 20 December 2021

The National Art Center, Tokyo
(Tokyo)
image
The Shell Art Award is known for its prescient recognition of young artists who will go on to represent the next generation of leaders in the art world. This year's exhibition, the 50th since the award's competition began in 1956, additionally offers Artists Selection 2021, a display of new and recent works by four promising artists chosen by last year's judges from among past award winners. (Note: The show opens on 8 December, a week after this issue goes online.)
image
image
image
image
image
Yoichi Umetsu: Pollinator
16 September 2021 - 16 January 2022
The Watari Museum of Contemporary Art (Watari-um)
(Tokyo)
image
Among contemporary artists active today, Umetsu (b. 1982) is an especially hard one to pin down, so broad are his horizons. His oeuvre ranges from miniature-like drawings, pointillist paintings, and ceramic works to performance videos featuring himself -- not to mention his activities as a curator and the operator of a nonprofit gallery. This show's title was chosen as an apt metaphor for Umetsu's role as an artist. In its delicacy and fragility, art resembles nothing so much as pollen, and Umetsu is certainly scattering his far and wide.
image
image
image
image
M's Gift of the Sea: Auto-Mythology
2 October 2021 - 10 January 2022
Artizon Museum
(Tokyo)
image
The second in a series of "jam sessions" between the museum's Ishibashi Foundation Collection and various contemporary artists, this one features Yasumasa Morimura, who has long expressed a fascination with the work of the short-lived Meiji-era painter Shigeru Aoki (1882-1911). Here he revisits Aoki's celebrated Gift of the Sea (1903) in a series of inimitable "M-style" paintings that use Aoki's masterpiece as a springboard for commentary on the cultural, political, and philosophical changes Japan underwent during and after the Meiji era.
image
image
image
image
image
The Genealogy of Light: Impressionist Masterworks from The Israel Museum, Jerusalem
15 October 2021 - 16 January 2022
Mitsubishi Ichigokan Museum, Tokyo
(Tokyo)
image
Among its over 500,000 holdings, Jerusalem's Israel Museum boasts a superb collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist art. Of the 69 works selected for this show, 59 are appearing in Japan for the first time. The treats include works by Courbet, Monet, Renoir, Cezanne, Van Gogh, and Gauguin, as well as later Impressionist-influenced painters like the Nabis Bonnard and Vuillard.
image
image
| 1 | 2 |
image
image
image
Recent Articles
FOCUS
An Eye for Line, a Flair for Color: The Design Works of Seifu Tsuda
J.M. Hammond
1 July 2022
FOCUS
Farewell to the Nakagin Capsule Tower: A Brief but Exquisite Glimpse into a Metabolist Future
James Lambiasi
1 July 2022
HERE/THERE
The Yoga of Yoga: How Western-Style Painting Gained a Foothold in Meiji Japan
Alan Gleason
1 July 2022
PICKS
Mitsuaki Iwago: Pantanal
1 July 2022
FOCUS
Beauty and Profundity: The Transformational Ink Paintings of Toko Shinoda
Jennifer Pastore
1 June 2022
FOCUS
Back to the Future: A Museum Morphs from Meiji to Modernist
Colin Smith
1 June 2022
HERE/THERE
Remembrance of Wars Past: Hikaru Fujii and Chikako Yamashiro at MOT
Alan Gleason
1 June 2022
PICKS
Towards Harmony: Le Corbusier and the Art of the Second Machine Age
1 June 2022
>> Back Issues
image
image
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.