10 Things in Tokyo: October Round-Up

A short list of events and exhibitions happening in Tokyo and beyond this month.

poster for Tokyo International Photography Festival

Tokyo International Photography Festival

at Art Factory Jonanjima
in the Tokyo: Others area
This event has ended - (2015-10-09 - 2015-10-18)

poster for Celebrating the Rimpa School’s 400th Anniversary—The Rimpa School and Autumn Colors in Japanese Art

Celebrating the Rimpa School’s 400th Anniversary—The Rimpa School and Autumn Colors in Japanese Art

at Yamatane Museum of Art
in the Ebisu, Daikanyama area
This event has ended - (2015-09-01 - 2015-10-25)

poster for Yoshinori Niwa “Claim of Criminal Responsibility through Interpretation”

Yoshinori Niwa “Claim of Criminal Responsibility through Interpretation”

at NADiff a/p/a/r/t
in the Ebisu, Daikanyama area
This event has ended - (2015-09-18 - 2015-11-01)

poster for Trans Arts Tokyo 2015

Trans Arts Tokyo 2015

at Former Tokyo Denki University
in the Chiyoda area
This event has ended - (2015-10-09 - 2015-11-03)

In Features by Jennifer Pastore 2015-10-16

Eisen Keisai, 'A Scene from the Tales of Genji' at the Shunga Exhibition

Autumn is the season of arts and culture in Japan, and this October fits the bill with a bumper crop of creativity. Here are ten events to get you started.

Art Factory Jonanjima, opened in the warehouse district opposite Haneda Airport last year, presents the first Tokyo International Photography Festival. Bringing leading Japanese photographers such as Takashi Honma and Naoki Ishikawa together with up-and-coming international stars including Mike Brodie and Noemie Goudal, TIPF also features workshops, symposiums, and portfolio reviews. Through October 18th.

The Rimpa School and Autumn Colors in Japanese Art at the Yamatane Museum of Art exhibits seasonal gold-embellished paintings in the Rimpa style to mark 400 years since the founding of this dazzlingly decorative and quintessentially Japanese school of art. Ends October 25th. (eligible for MuPon discounts).

Yoshinori Niwa’s Claim of Criminal Responsibility Through Interpretation at NADiff a/p/a/r/t shows videos of the artist’s social experiments teasing out the special workings and contradictions of language. In one film, Niwa embarks on a mission to sell naming rights to a landfill. In another he asks strangers in Taiwan to declare that their nation will disappear when they die, and in a third he presents an intentionally mistranslated political speech. These works start with what seems like smirking irony, but take on nuance and depth as their filmed encounters play out. Closes November 1st.

Trans Arts Tokyo maintains its base at the former Tokyo Denki University for a fourth year while spreading out across the wider Kanda area. In addition to contemporary art of all genres, there will be beer and sports festivals, urban camping, Yasuhiro Suzuki’s Garden of Air, and a Tokyo iteration of Burning Man. Masato Nakamura’s photography-focused exhibit Luminous Despair at 3331 Arts Chiyoda is also part of this program running through November 3rd.

This is Amazing! features paintings, sculptures, and photography by Japanese artists with disabilities who have been recommend by curators and specialists in Outsider Art, a field focused on artists working beyond the bounds of the “official” cultural canon. At the Museum of Modern Art, Saitama through November 3rd.

Tokyo Midtown Design Touch 2015 invites visitors to experience the world through the five senses by interfacing with the latest design, in everything from graphics to technology, furniture, and food. Highlights include a lawn filled with huge wooden block pyramids, an eye-directed text input device you can try out for yourself, and an exhibit of this year’s Good Design Award winners. Ends November 3rd.

Tokyo Station Gallery, one of the city’s most stylishly historic venues, looks back on the pioneering art and literary magazine Tsukuhaé, a publication founded by three art students in 1914. With a title meaning “moon reflection,” Tsukuhaé ran abstract expressionist woodblock prints and poetry, a rare selection of which can be viewed through November 3rd.

In Shallow Puddles at Blum & Poe, contemporary artist Yoshitomo Nara paints his perpetually unimpressed tots on round dishes to look as if they’re floating in pools of water. Ends November 14th.

Labyrinth of Undercover is Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery’s toast to the cutting-edge fashion brand’s 25 years of art punk couture. Through December 23rd. (MuPon).

The Shunga Exhibition at the Eisei-Bunko Museum challenges a cultural taboo by putting erotic Ukiyo-e on public display. With this show of prints by masters such as Utamaro and Hokusai depicting sensuality and humor in sex, perhaps modern Japan is finally admitting to what its ancestors and some abroad have long known – that a picture of a woman experiencing la petite mort with octopi can be great art. Ends December 23rd.

Jennifer Pastore

Jennifer Pastore. Jennifer Pastore is Tokyo Art Beat's editor. You can follow her on Instagram. » See other writings

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