All tagged Roppongi

information or inspiration?

Ready to see beautiful Japanese artwork with a fresh approach? This exhibition lets the viewer experience art through two different perspectives. One calls on the right brain, using your intuition to experience the artwork, the “inspiration” perspective. The other approach provides details for the left brain, allowing the “information”, and a full, unobstructed view of the artwork, to enhance the experience. This exhibition is made up of only 22 works of Japanese ceramics, glassware, incense burners and more, but visitors go through twice, choosing to begin with either the information (white) side or inspiration (black) side.

The Treasures and the Tradition of “Lâle” in the Ottoman Empire

If you’ve never had the pleasure of visiting Turkey, this exhibition is a great entrée to the country’s art and culture. There are over 170 objects to admire, mostly from the Topkapi Palace in Istanbul. Beautiful jewelry and bejeweled pieces, clothing, carpets, ceramics and all sorts of decorated pieces. The exhibition explains the symbolism and importance of the tulip, or lâle, in the context of the Ottoman Empire and highlights the relations between Japan and Turkey.

Sense of Humor

Any exhibition that combines ping pong, Buster Keaton, zen, and surrealism must be aiming for something different. Katsumi Asaba, a graphic artist, calligrapher, and champion ping pong player, among other things, is the exhibition director for Sense of Humor. He presents film, posters, photographs, sculptures, all types of objects and much more with a sense of whimsy and delight. In his words, “humor soothes the spirit; humor stirs the soul….Humor is the heart of communication.” There are lots of colors, shapes and other sights to explore and enjoy.

Roppongi Crossing 2019: Connexions

Roppongi Crossing is a contemporary art exhibition held every three years. The work of 25 Japanese artists/groups (collectives), born in the 1970s and 1980s, is on display. There are several large scale works, videos, cats, a simulated ocean, glowing honey jars, and more. Themes of connection and disparity in the age of the internet, artificial intelligence, and the current state of Japan are explored.

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.

Catastrophe and the Power of Art

“What art can do in chaotic times where the future is uncertain.” Under the theme of catastrophe, such as the Great East Japan Earthquake of 2011, these artists use their talents to help us process these events through their personal vision and expression. The artwork concerns all types of tragedies, from personal experiences to large cataclysmic events. There are a wide variety of media - videos, photographs, paintings, sculptures, illustrations, models, and more - used to both depict disasters both large and small and process these events through creativity in the aftermath.

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.

Pierre Bonnard, The Never-Ending Summer

Pierre Bonnard was a member of the French artist group called the Nabis (from the Hebrew word navi, meaning prophet). He was also influenced by Japanese art, including ukiyo-e, so much so that he was called le Nabi très japonard. This retrospective of Bonnard’s paintings, prints and photographs are organized by Japanese influence, work in graphic arts, and photographs. His paintings move from emphasizing light and shadow to the influence of impressionism, a focus on intimacy and daily life, to landscapes from Normandy and southern France.

Japan in Architecture: Genealogies of Its Transformation

This exhibition covers a wide range of topics: the use of wood, Japanese architectural aesthetics, the role of the roof, architecture in communities, how “Japan” is interpreted by non-Japanese architects, and more. The information provided is dense and takes time to read and digest. Highlights include a book lounge, a ⅓ size model of a home and an immersive work which uses video and laser fiber to represent Japanese design dimensions.

Impressionist Masterpieces from the E. G. Bührle Collection

This exhibition is like a condensed art history class, in the best way. There are works from all the Impressionist heavy hitters (Monet, Manet, Degas, Renoir) and other very famous artists post Impressionists (Van Gogh, Cézanne, Gauguin, Picasso). The curators did an excellent job providing information about the artists, the works on view, and how the works led up to, represent or progress from Impressionism.  

Wild: Untamed Mind

This exhibit uses photographs, masks and Hello Kitty figures to explain the meaning of the untamed mind. Some takeaways are: getting outside the linear, logical mindset; accessing our unconscious through dreams, where unexpected connections can be revealed; the importance of nature in discovery; the use of masks to access “wildness”; and how cuteness or kawaii, specifically through Hello Kitty, can express an in between being.