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image image Drunk on Beauty: Sake Vessels at the Seikado Bunko Art Museum
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J.M. Hammond
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Two blue rings on the bottom of a white ceramic sake cup glistening beneath the swirl of nihonshu; the golden glow of the amber nectar in a chilled beer glass -- the joy of drinking has long been enhanced by the visual component. Now, a new exhibition at the Seikado Bunko Art Museum in Tokyo gives us a taste of the aesthetic dimension of the culture of drinking. Intoxicated by the Charm of Wine Vessels brings together cups, pots, ewers and other vessels that people in Japan and elsewhere in East Asia have used to store, pour and savor alcoholic drinks. more...

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image image Timeless Emanations: The Supple Spontaneity of Bamboo, at Musée Tomo
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Susan Rogers Chikuba
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Winding as it does through a seven-meter void that's papered in warm silver tones and fragments of poetry by Toko Shinoda, the spiral staircase leading to the theater-like basement galleries of Musée Tomo is, at any time, a provocative transitional space. All the more so at the present exhibition, where a massive floor-to-ceiling installation of woven bamboo writhes up through the well, its three hollow shafts twisting in organic dialogue with the steps. At its base the structure seems rooted to the wall and floor, a plant drawing nutrients from below and light from above. more...

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image image Make a Joyful Noise: The Hamamatsu Museum of Musical Instruments
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Alan Gleason
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For over a century the center of western musical instrument production in Japan has been Hamamatsu, a city of 800,000 that sits midway between Tokyo and Kyoto. Apropos of this legacy, the city-owned Hamamatsu Museum of Musical Instruments holds a treasure trove of sonic delights that are as much fun to look at as they are to listen to. Visitors are encouraged to view, hear, and -- in the "Hands-on Room" -- touch and play instruments from all over the world. more...

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Recent Articles
FOCUS
Drunk on Beauty: Sake Vessels at the Seikado Bunko Art Museum
J.M. Hammond
1 June 2018
FOCUS
Timeless Emanations: The Supple Spontaneity of Bamboo, at Musée Tomo
Susan Rogers Chikuba
1 June 2018
HERE/THERE
Make a Joyful Noise: The Hamamatsu Museum of Musical Instruments
Alan Gleason
1 June 2018
PICKS
Seung-woo Yang: End of the Line - Kotobukicho
1 June 2018
FOCUS
Fun and Games with Giga: Caricatures of the Edo Period
Christopher Stephens
15 May 2018
FOCUS
Hanshinkan Modernism: Two (and More) Sides of a Turbulent Era
Colin Smith
15 May 2018
HERE/THERE
Music of the Spheres: Minoru Nomata at Sagacho Archives
Alan Gleason
15 May 2018
PICKS
Nobuya Abe 1913-1971: Insatiable Quest beyond Borders
15 May 2018
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