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image image Asao Tokolo: A New Spin for Arita
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Alice Gordenker
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Millions of people around the world have seen the work of Asao Tokolo, yet few would be able to produce his name or identify a single project to which he's contributed. Tokolo -- and that's the spelling he prefers for a surname usually romanized as "Tokoro" -- is the man behind the distinctive indigo checkered emblems for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Now, in a special solo exhibition opening this month at the Kyushu Ceramic Museum in Arita, Saga Prefecture, he's dishing up similar designs in blue and white that may point the way to new directions in Japanese porcelain. more...

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image image Obsessive Observation: The Legacy of Maruyama Okyo
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J.M. Hammond
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Active in 18th-century Kyoto, Maruyama Okyo left a mark on Japanese art far exceeding the legacy of his own distinguished oeuvre. His activities extended to teaching and mentoring other artists and helping establish a new visual tradition in Japanese art. Taking a fresh look at Okyo and artists associated with him is a new exhibition, Legendary Kyoto Painting from Maruyama Okyo to the Modern Era, at the University Art Museum, Tokyo University of the Arts (after which it will be held at the National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto). more...

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image image Passing the Baton: Art and Community at the Nakanojo Biennale
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Alan Gleason
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Held in the mountainous Agatsuma River valley of Gunma Prefecture, the Nakanojo Biennale has grown from a virtually one-man undertaking into a sprawling event that rivals better-known festivals in scale as well as visitorship. Founded in 2007 by Tokyo-based designer Tetsuo Yamashige, the event celebrates its seventh iteration this year with a roster of 150 artists and art units -- 50 from outside Japan -- exhibiting at over 50 venues scattered across the steep hills and deep valleys of Nakanojo, a town whose 17,000 residents occupy barely a fraction of its 440 square kilometers. more...

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Recent Articles
FOCUS
Asao Tokolo: A New Spin for Arita
Alice Gordenker
2 September 2019
FOCUS
Obsessive Observation: The Legacy of Maruyama Okyo
J.M. Hammond
2 September 2019
HERE/THERE
Passing the Baton: Art and Community at the Nakanojo Biennale
Alan Gleason
2 September 2019
PICKS
The Eye of a Connoisseur: The Legendary Hara Sankei Collection
2 September 2019
FOCUS
Pistils and Fission: Keisuke Yamaguchi's Singular Artistic Vision
Christopher Stephens
1 August 2019
FOCUS
Digital Art in the Forest and Town: Encountering Kamuy at Lake Akan
Susan Rogers Chikuba
1 August 2019
HERE/THERE
Things That Went Bump in the Night: Yokai Get Their Due in Kawasaki
Alan Gleason
1 August 2019
PICKS
Shiota Chiharu: The Soul Trembles
1 August 2019
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