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 exhibitions at museums and galleries in recent weeks, with an emphasis on contemporary art by young artists.

Note: Most of Japan's museums and galleries have reopened, but conditions and anti-coronavirus precautions vary. If you are planning a visit, please check the venue's website beforehand.

image
image image 1 July 2020
| 1 | 2 |
image
image
image
image
image
Cosmo-Eggs
23 June - 25 October 2020
Artizon Museum
(Tokyo)
image
Described as a "homecoming show," this is a reconstruction of the Japan Pavilion's presentation at the 58th Venice Biennale Art Exhibition, held in 2019. Curator Hiroyuki Hattori brought together four professionals in diverse fields -- artist Motoyuki Shitamichi, composer Taro Yasuno, anthropologist Toshiaki Ishikura, and architect Fuminori Nousaku -- to collaborate on an installation on the theme of "coexistence and symbiosis between human and nonhuman entities."
image
image
image
image
image
Timeless Conversations 2020: Voices from Japanese Art of the Past and Present
24 June - 24 August 2020
The National Art Center, Tokyo
(Tokyo)
image
Predicated on a fun conceit, this exhibition pairs the works of eight contemporary artists with those of Edo-period and earlier masters, highlighting the ways in which today's practitioners gain inspiration from their predecessors. These conversations across the centuries may take the form of parody, or homage, or the incorporation of ancient art into contemporary installations. With over 200 works old and new on display, there are ample opportunities to discover thematic and compositional affinities that transcend time.
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
Chronicling Design to Create a Legacy
3 June - 14 July 2020
Good Design Marunouchi
(Tokyo)
image
Subtitled "Ten Years of the Good Design Award Yearbook: 2010-2019," this show offers a thorough look at the making of the yearbook produced in tandem with Japan's most prestigious design prize. Since 2010, when designer Naoto Fukasawa reimagined the annual publication as a hefty hardcover tome, the yearbook has steadfastly maintained the same format and dimensions in the face of the general trend away from print to digital publishing.
image
image
image
image
image
Takaki Sudo: The Theater is You
28 May 2020 -
Online
image
An online performance created by video director Sudo, who calls it "an experiment in marginal theater." It's not clear, though, who the titular "you" is, nor what sort of "theater" is involved here. The format is exceedingly simple: white text input in real time on a black background. Held three or four times a week, each "performance" lasts 20 to 30 minutes, and the content varies. In the sense that it can only be experienced "live," the work may be best described as a type of performance art. Sudo's site states that the performances will continue "at least into early July" and possibly longer.
image
image
image
image
image
image
image

Hanchu-Yuei: Flower of Banana #1

5 June 2020 -
Online
image
This production is the first in Theater Collective Hanchu-Yuei's new series of "Plays from the Other Side," and the first of several works posted for free viewing on the troupe's YouTube channel. Only 15 minutes long, the video (edited by Sachiro Nomoto) gives only fragmentary hints of the entire story being told, but represents a very Hanchu-Yueiesque response to the limitations defined by the online format. A tale of people finding it hard to live and breathe within constraints imposed by society, the work is a timely one.
image
image
image
image
image
Akira Takayama / Port B: "Tokyo Trunk Room"
8 February - 23 August 2020
Archi-Depot
(Tokyo)
image
An experimental show by theater director/artist Takayama and his arts collective Port B. True to Archi-Depot's function as a storage and display facility for architectural models, they attempt to present the "true face of modern Tokyo" by "expressing its reproducible urban infrastructure . . . in the form of a model." In keeping with Takayama's notion of theater as a model of reality, and of Tokyo as a city made up of replicable models, the exhibition space is designed to change and grow from day to day like the metropolis itself. Visitors are encouraged to reenter the show as often as they like while it is up.
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
The 1930s -- Urban Life in Modern Tokyo
1 June - 27 September 2020
Tokyo Metropolitan Teien Art Museum
(Tokyo)
image
Once a year the museum holds an open-house exhibition showcasing the building itself, an art-deco masterpiece built in 1933 as the residence of Prince Asaka. Until now each annual show has introduced a different aspect of the structure -- its history, interior details, people associated with its architecture and construction, restoration efforts, and so on. The 2020 iteration takes a slightly different approach, focusing on the city and the era that gave birth to the edifice -- Tokyo in the 1930s -- and seeking out other examples of classic modernity still to be found in the capital.
image
image
image
image
image
MIDSOMMAR
Ongoing
Various cinemas
image
In this 2019 folk-horror tour-de-force, American filmmaker Ari Aster constructs the worldview of a small spiritual community through symbol-laden works of art and unique architectural designs, costumes and music. Unlike most films or manga that feature a cult of some sort, MIDSOMMAR does not center around an evil but charismatic religious leader, but instead observes the community through the eyes of Dani, a young college student grieving over the loss of her family in a murder-suicide and struggling in her relationship with an unreliable lover.
image
image
Q/Satoko Ichihara: "The Question of Faeries" online version

16 - 17 May 2020

Online
image
Theater company Q first performed this work by Ichihara, Q's playwright and director, in 2017. The faeries of the title represent things we cannot see -- or more precisely, are made not to see. Ichihara uses the concept to allude to eugenics and other forms of discrimination, women's sexuality, and social taboos in general. Here she addresses the "eugenic bias" in all of us, boldly confronting, as much of her work does, inconvenient truths about the human psyche that most of us prefer to ignore.
image
image
image
Lolo: "Windowsill" Episode 2, "Home Theater"

22 - 24 May 2020

Online
image
In this second installment of the Lolo theater troupe's series of "short phone-call plays," which the actors perform via YouTube, a woman receives a video phone call from another woman she does not recognize, but who claims to be a high-school classmate who once loaned her 20 yen to buy an energy bar from a vending machine. The caller says she actually died half a year ago and that her image is an AI video compiled from her memories while alive. Writer/director Naoyuki Miura continues his ongoing exploration of how our encounters with others form and transform us.
image
image
| 1 | 2 |
image
image
image
Recent Articles
FOCUS
Galleries Without Artworks and Then Some at Setagaya Art Museum
Susan Rogers Chikuba
3 August 2020
FOCUS
Float Like a Perhonen: The Fashion World of Akira Minagawa
Christopher Stephens
3 August 2020
HERE/THERE
Photo-Realism: Katsumi Sunamori at the Maruki Gallery
Alan Gleason
3 August 2020
PICKS
Moriyama Daido's Tokyo: Ongoing
3 August 2020
FOCUS
Art in the Great Outdoors: Osaka's Modernist Monuments
Colin Smith
1 July 2020
FOCUS
Omotesando: Tokyo's Architectural Catwalk
James Lambiasi
1 July 2020
HERE/THERE
That Was Then: Viewing Tokyo through the Olympic Prism
Alan Gleason
1 July 2020
PICKS
Cosmo-Eggs
1 July 2020
>> Back Issues
image
image
THIS IS MECENAT 2020
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.