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Picks :
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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.

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I know something about love: Asian contemporary photography
2 October - 25 November 2018
Tokyo Photographic Art Museum
(Tokyo)
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A group show by six East Asian photographers, all women, hailing from China, South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, and Japan, plus one Japan-born Korean. Women in this region share a long history of social oppression. While the circumstances they have dealt with vary from country to country, all of these artists treat their own identity as an indispensable element of their work, imbuing their images with a raw directness rarely found in work by male photographers.

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Culture City of East Asia 2018 Kanazawa: Altering Home
15 September - 4 November 2018
21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa
(Ishikawa)
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Every year three cities in Japan, China and South Korea respectively are designated "Culture Cities of East Asia." In Japan the nod this year went to Kanazawa, which is hosting works by 22 artists from the three countries in various locations scattered around several of the city's historical districts. Sharing the theme "Altering Home," the installations occupy public spaces as well as vacant houses and storefronts.

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1968: Art in the Turbulent Age

19 September - 11 November 2018

Chiba City Museum of Art
(Chiba)
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The year 1968 is a popular topic for exhibitions, thanks to its resonance as the peak year of protest movements worldwide. Japan was no exception. This omnibus show covers the bases with 450 works related to the sturm und drang of sixties Japan, ranging from photography by Shomei Tomatsu and Kazuo Kitai chronicling campus struggles and anti-Vietnam War actions, to the controversial works of conceptual artist Genpei Akasegawa, the 1970 World Expo and its parody offshoot, the Anti-World Expo, the poster art of Tadanori Yokoo and Kiyoshi Awazu, and the manga of Yoshiharu Tsuge and Seiichi Hayashi.

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Alvar Aalto: Second Nature

15 September - 25 November 2018

The Museum of Modern Art, Hayama
(Kanagawa)

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The first retrospective devoted to renowned Finnish architect and designer Aalto (1898-1976) to appear in Japan in some two decades, this exhibition is touring the globe, a joint project by Germany's Vitra Design Museum and Finland's Alvar Aalto Museum. The 300-odd items include original drawings, architectural models, light fixtures, glassware, and of course Aalto's famous furniture.
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Daido Moriyama: Tokyo Boogie Woogie
15 - 30 September 2018
NADiff a/p/a/r/t
(Tokyo)
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Venerable photographer Moriyama's latest collection consists of color snapshots taken since 2017 on the streets of Shinjuku, Shibuya, Ikebukuro, Asakusa, Ginza and other bustling commercial centers in Tokyo. This eponymous show coincided with the book's publication. As documented by Moriyama in color, instead of the gritty black and white with which he is usually associated, the megalopolis's heady mix of order and chaos comes across as a hodgepodge of junky, kitschy graffiti.
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Kenji Ishiguro: Hiroshima 1965

27 July - 30 September 2018

Akio Nagasawa Gallery Ginza
(Tokyo)
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From March to August 1965, 20 years after the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, photographer Ishiguro (b. 1935) wandered around that city snapping pictures that appeared in his book Hiroshima 1965. This recent show was held concurrently with the publication of a revised edition of that seminal work, affording an opportunity to reevaluate Ishiguro's approach to the subject, a radical departure from the straightforward journalistic style of other photographers.
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The Books That Changed the World
8 - 24 September 2018
The Ueno Royal Museum
(Tokyo)
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An exhibition of rare Western works on science and technology preserved by the Kanazawa Institute of Technology. Among the world-changing classics on display: Copernicus's On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres, Newton's Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica, and Darwin's On the Origin of Species.
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good design company 1998-2018
12 September - 18 October 2018
Creation Gallery G8
(Tokyo)
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A look at the work of good design company (gdc) over the two decades since its founding by creative director Manabu Mizuno. The company boasts a huge portfolio of products and images for big-ticket clients like Nakagawa Masashichi Shoten, Sotetsu Holdings, and Kumamoto Prefecture, for which Mizuno designed the iconic mascot Kumamon.
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Taiwan Photography Now: Inside/Outside
14 - 29 September 2018
The University Art Museum, Tokyo University of the Arts
(Tokyo)
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Since 2013, Tokyo University of the Arts (Geidai) has collaborated with the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in Japan on a Taiwan-Japan cultural and fine arts exchange program. In its sixth iteration this year, the program sponsored an exhibition introducing "eight photographers born since the 1960s who are not well known in Japan." The show was put together by members of Geidai's Department of Intermedia Art working with Chiu I-Chien, a professor at Taiwan's Tung Fang Design University.
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Starting Points: Japanese Art of the '80s
7 July - 21 October 2018

21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa
(Ishikawa)

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The 1980s were a fertile time for art, giving birth to many new developments that continue to resonate today: installations, participatory art, alternative spaces, media art, a more relativistic take on what constitutes "art," and a sensibility attuned to work that celebrates lightness and the everyday. This show looked back on Japanese art of the 1980s from a contemporary perspective, revisiting works that are now, with hindsight, viewed as "seminal."
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