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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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Archaeology of the Future - Digging & Building
19 October - 24 December 2018
Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery
(Tokyo)
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Tsuyoshi Tane treats architecture as a process of excavating the memories embedded in a place. In his work in that field he applies the methodology of archaeological research, an approach he says he first considered in his 2006 design of the Estonian National Museum, a project that earned him global recognition. This show aims to explore that methodology in detail.

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teamLab*Borderless
21 June 2018 - indefinite
Mori Building Digital Art Museum
(Tokyo)
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This vast new exhibition space houses works by the hi-tech art group teamLab. They range from computer-graphic projections of animals, plants and other natural phenomena to light sculptures and a "forest of lamps." Dark, mirror-filled, and with no signs indicating a route to follow, the installation resembles an endless labyrinth.

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Architecture x Photography: A Light Existing Only Here

10 November 2018 - 27 January 2019

Tokyo Photographic Art Museum
(Tokyo)
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Buildings have been a favorite subject for photographers ever since the camera's invention in the early 19th century -- one big reason being that buildings don't move. Another is that photography proved to be an ideal method of precisely recording the details of building exteriors and interiors. This show gathers together classic images of architecture by Western photographers from the 19th into the early 20th century, as well as works by postwar Japanese photographers.

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Tokyographie 2018

26 October - 25 December 2018

FujiFilm Square and other venues
(Tokyo)

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Held in Kyoto for the sixth time this past spring, Kyotographie has established itself as a premier international photography festival. This year, for the first time, a "special edition" digest of Kyotographie visits the nation's capital, with exhibitions scattered around several locations in central Tokyo.
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Rubens and the Birth of the Baroque
16 October 2018 - 20 January 2019
The National Museum of Western Art
(Tokyo)
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It could be said that Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640) was blessed with more talent, powerful patrons, and disciples -- and painted more works -- than any other painter. Visit Europe's top museums and you will always find Rubens represented. This exhibition focuses on early work from his years of study in Italy. Included are ancient sculptures that Rubens referenced during his Italian period, making for some interesting direct comparisons with the paintings on display.
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Awakenings: Art in Society in Asia 1960s-1990s

10 October - 24 December 2018

The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo
(Tokyo)
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An ambitious exhibition that examines the complex relationship between art and society during four turbulent decades in over ten countries and regions extending from East to South Asia. The focus is on the role played by experimental artists as catalysts for social change throughout Asia during this period.
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Higashiyama Kaii Retrospective
24 October - 3 December 2018
The National Art Center, Tokyo
(Tokyo)
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The first major Tokyo retrospective of the iconic Nihonga artist in a decade commemorates the 110th anniversary of his birth. Higashiyama (1908-1999) studied in Germany in the early 1930s, an experience that significantly influenced his subsequent work. Suffering numerous personal hardships during and after the war, he found solace and inspiration in the life force of nature. Works like Afterglow, a landscape of mountains bathed in twilight, poignantly reflect his state of mind at the time.
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Assembridge Nagoya 2018

6 October - 2 December 2018

Between Nagoyako and Tsukijiguchi stations
(Aichi)
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Assembridge is an exhibition of installations dotting the neighborhood that stretches between Nagoya port and the city's Tsukijiguchi district. Many of the works are based on research into forgotten episodes of history, such as Nagoya's failed Olympics bid (Takayuki Yamamoto) and the comfort women of World War II (Yui Usui). Also exuding a whiff of history is a former gambling hall behind the buildings that house installations near the harbor -- but all of these venues are now slated for demolition.
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Takeshi Mizukoshi: My Sense of Wonder
6 November - 1 December 2018
Communication Gallery Fugensha
(Tokyo)
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One of Japan's top nature and mountain photographers, Mizukoshi (b. 1938) has published numerous photo collections since his seminal 1975 book Yari, Hodaka, which pioneered a new amalgam of documentary and artistic photography. In 1988 he moved to a lakeside home in eastern Hokkaido, where both his life and art continue to intertwine closely with nature. This show was in two parts, Sound of Water and Sound of Light, in which Mizukoshi respectively explored the world of human habitation and the world of nature far removed from human beings.
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Living Architecture Museum Festival Osaka
27 - 28 October 2018

Various places in Osaka Prefecture
(Osaka)

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Commonly known by its Japanese acronym Ikefes Osaka, this is Japan's biggest architectural event. One weekend every autumn, Osaka's most fascinating architectural specimens are open to the public free of charge. "Living architecture" refers to structures old and new that survive today as vivid manifestations of the history, culture, and lifestyles of Japan's second city. The organizing committee declares its interest in promoting new architectural values that offer an alternative to the traditional "cultural property" approach.
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