Sophie Calle: Exquisite Pain

Reading any news about art in Tokyo, it is hard to miss Sophie Calle, that her work has appeared in four different venues in February: a video installation at Shibuya Crossing (finished), a gallery show at Perrotin in Roppongi (the above photo), Parce que at Gallery Koyangi in Ginza, and Exquisite Pain: From the Hara Museum Collection. Exquisite Pain was previously shown at the Hara Museum in 1999-2000, when the museum acquired the entire collection, and is now shown again in its entirety. Calle demonstrates the pain of a romantic breakup through a countdown, using letters, photographs, and other mementos to tick off the days. The count up alternates Calle’s recounting of the breakup with painful stories and accompanying photographs from the stories of others.

The Way of Paintings 2019: FACE Award Winners and FACE 2019

FACE, the Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Art Award, is a public entry competition established in 2013 that recognizes outstanding emerging artists. The Seiji Togo Memorial Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Museum of Art is hosting two exhibitions regarding this award. Until February 17, The Way of Paintings 2019: FACE Award Winners features 11 artists who received Grand Prix or Excellent Work Awards from 2016 to 2018. From February 23 to March 30, the 7th FACE exhibition, FACE 2019, features 71 works selected by a jury from the works submitted by 870 emerging artists from all over Japan.

Hokusai Updated

Hokusai of the ubiquitous woodblock wave is treated to a massive exhibition of over 400 works of art. It is termed “updated” because it includes recently rediscovered works and pieces that are shown in Japan for the first time. The viewer comes away with an appreciation of the length of the artist’s career: Hokusai began at 20 and died at 90 and considered his work to be satisfactory starting at the age of 70. While there are prints from his famous series, Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji, including Under the Wave off Kanagawa, the exhibition highlights the different periods of the artist’s long career, the many types of artwork (prints, paintings, books, and much more) he created, his innovation and the pursuit of his unique interests, and his desire to share what he learned over the years through the publication of artist manuals.

Leiko Ikemura: Our Planet - Earth & Stars

Leiko Ikemura is a Japanese-Swiss artist who lives and works in Germany. This exhibition includes artwork from her 40 year career. Charcoal drawings, photographs, paintings on canvas and jute, sculptures, and large scale prints. The artist focuses on the natural world - trees, mountains, horizons - and women, both girls and Amazon women. Highlights include recent large scale paintings of the cosmos, over-sized prints of Amazon women, and the Usagi Kannon, a large-scale sculpture of a rabbit/goddess hybrid.

Toguri Museum of Art

Do you like Japanese porcelain and want to learn more about it? This museum’s collection highlights Imari ware created in Arita (formerly Hizen province) beginning in the 1600s. Of the museums three gallery spaces, one is dedicated to explaining the different styles/stages of Imari ware. The other two rooms are exhibition spaces, usually focusing on one specific stage or themes that run across stages, such as flower and plant designs.

MINGEI - Another Kind of Art

This exhibition features over 140 objects selected by the Director of the Japan Folk Crafts Museum. The word mingei is used to describe handicrafts made by anonymous craftspeople, emphasizing that crafts use local materials and techniques handed down from generations. The film shown in Gallery 1 highlights craftspeople at work and informs the objects on display in Gallery 2.