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Archive for the ‘Art’ Category

Over the summer, I had the chance to see Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirrors at the Seattle Art Museum. This was my first time seeing any of her work in person, and it was well worth getting a new membership for me and my partner.

These photos focus on the art that was not the Infinity Mirror Rooms, since you can’t really take a quick photo without getting yourself in it, too. Photos of the Infinity Mirror Rooms can be found on the SAM website, though.

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Chiho Aoshima. Moimoi and Kitty Leave for a Journey, 2009. Seattle Art Museum.

Chiho Aoshima. Moimoi and Kitty Leaving for a Journey, 2009. Seattle Asian Art Museum.

 

 
CHIHO AOSHIMA: REBIRTH OF THE WORLD
MAY 2 – OCT 4 2015
Seattle Asian Art Museum

http://www.seattleartmuseum.org/exhibitions/chiho

Here’s what I love about Chiho Aoshima’s show, in a nutshell: the repetition of the theme of the delicate sylph whose flatulence creates smoke clouds billowing from volcanos while Buddha and entourage look on.

Aoshima’s digital and hand drawns are in the superflat style, but whereas the tween-girl characters of Mr.’s show had cutesy moe details, like bandaids and pigtails, Aoshima’s figures reject that aesthetic. Her mural-size piece Rebirth and the video installation Takaamanohara have been compared to Hieronymus Bosch’s The Garden of Earthly Delights.

TO THE SEA, BEARING MOI MOI, 2009, CHIHO AOSHIMA, JAPANESE, B. 1974, COLOR ON JAPANESE RICE PAPER, 12 5/8 × 8 1/16 IN., ©2009 CHIHO AOSHIMA/KAIKAI KIKI CO., LTD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

TO THE SEA, BEARING MOI MOI, 2009, CHIHO AOSHIMA, JAPANESE, B. 1974, COLOR ON JAPANESE RICE PAPER, 12 5/8 × 8 1/16 IN., ©2009 CHIHO AOSHIMA/KAIKAI KIKI CO., LTD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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In this gender reader: 10 years and no movement on the separate surnames bill in Japan, the feminist power of Sailor Moon nostalgia, feminization and slurs in Korean queer terminology, wrist-grabbing isn’t sexy, Teddy girls, and more!

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Live On: Mr.’s Japanese Neo-Pop at the Seattle Asian Art Museum is, to use an old slang term, frantic. My friend and museum companion hadn’t been through the permanent collection yet, and after an hour or so of contemplating mainly contemporary ink pieces, delicate snuff bottles, and lavishly detailed Persian paintings set in the elegant art deco building, we arrived at the eye-popping, jarringly neon moé world of Mr.’s neo-pop art.

MAKING THINGS RIGHT, 2006, MR., JAPANESE, B.1969, ACRYLIC ON CANVAS, 118 X 177 IN., © 2006 MR./KAIKAI KIKI CO., LTD., ALL RIGHTS RESERVED, PHOTO COURTESY GALERIE PERROTIN.

MAKING THINGS RIGHT, 2006, MR., JAPANESE, B.1969, ACRYLIC ON CANVAS, 118 X 177 IN., © 2006 MR./KAIKAI KIKI CO., LTD., ALL RIGHTS RESERVED, PHOTO COURTESY GALERIE PERROTIN. via Seattle Asian Art Museum

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ギリギリセーフ!

Art by Murakami Takashi. Via Spoon & Tamago.

Art by Murakami Takashi. Via Spoon & Tamago.

There is a lot to cover since I did my last gender reader at the start of June. In this gender reader: Shiomura Ayaka and the harassment case at the Tokyo Assembly, updates to koseki (family registry) laws, Rokudenashiko, and more.

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Deco Japan: Shaping Art and Culture, 1920-1945
Seattle Asian Art Museum
http://www.seattleartmuseum.org/exhibitions/deco
May 10 – Oct. 19, 2014

Seattle Asian Art Museum | The Lobster Dance

 

I meant to review this show when I saw it in May, so we’re taking another quick break from the ongoing series so I can finish this review in a timely fashion.

Jazz. Gin. Short hair and short skirts. The modern girl. The rise of film, and the advent of skyscrapers and air travel. After World War I, the world was changing rapidly. With the machine age came an increased emphasis on speed.

 

The art world answered with Art Deco, which had a driving energy that found expression in its use of themes from cultures all over the world, wild appropriation of other art forms, and graphic designs with fast lines that could be adapted and used on everything from housewares to posters, and for everything from politics to advertising.

By World War II, Art Deco had left its mark on almost every medium of visual art.

Deco Japan: Shaping Art and Culture, 1920–1945, with nearly 200 works, reveals the widespread and particular impact of Art Deco on Japanese culture. Through a wide range of mediums—sculpture, painting, prints, ceramics, lacquerware, jewelry, textiles, furniture, and graphic ephemera—this exhibition introduces the spectacular craftsmanship and sophisticated designs of Japan’s contribution to the movement.

Shown in our gem-like 1933 Art Deco building, Deco Japan offers you the rare opportunity to experience the full range of Deco artistry in a period setting.

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For those interested in Japanese folk craft (民芸) and history, check out this Kickstarter for the oral history project to preserve a Tohoku craft and four decades of exchange:

Carving Community: Oral History of US & Japanese Folk Art

An oral history project aiming to create a digital archive to help place a collection of traditional Japanese folk art in a museum home

Photo by Malina Suity and Paula Curtis via Kickstarter

Photo by Malina Suity and Paula Curtis via Kickstarter

Introduction:

In March of 1953, only one year after the end of the US Occupation of Japan, Janell Landis, a 27 year old Pennsylvania native, traveled to Japan as a part of a three-year teaching program. Those three years turned into four decades of engagement with the local Japanese community as an English teacher at Miyagi Gakuin Women’s University and resident of Sendai, Japan. Landis spent her time there teaching English, traveling the country putting on puppet shows (a hobby close to her heart), and even recording English language television programs for her local station. Through this television connection, she serendipitously met Hiroi Michiaki, an artisan specializing in Edo-koma 江戸独楽 (Edo-style wooden spinning tops), with whom she recorded a New Year’s Day special in the winter of 1981. Over the course of the next decade, Landis was apprenticed to Hiroi (to her, Hiroi-sensei), and collected over a hundred of his handmade tops, each a remarkable testament to Japan’s traditional craft culture.

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