10 Things in Tokyo: January–February 2016

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

poster for All Begun in Kamakura 1951-2016 Part 3. 1951-1965 The Birth of The Museum of Modern Art, Kamakura

All Begun in Kamakura 1951-2016 Part 3. 1951-1965 The Birth of The Museum of Modern Art, Kamakura

at Museum of Modern Art, Kamakura
in the Yokohama, Kanagawa area
This event has ended - (2015-10-17 - 2016-01-31)

poster for Rie Nakajima “Becoming Sounds”

Rie Nakajima “Becoming Sounds”

at Shugoarts
in the Roppongi, Nogizaka area
This event has ended - (2015-12-20 - 2016-01-31)

poster for “Apichatpong in the Woods 2016” Film Screening

“Apichatpong in the Woods 2016” Film Screening

at Theatre Image Forum
in the Shibuya area
This event has ended - (2016-01-09 - 2016-02-05)

poster for “Listen, I’ll tell you the truth… the actual center of the world is where you are creating something unique.”

“Listen, I’ll tell you the truth… the actual center of the world is where you are creating something unique.”

at Tokyo Station Gallery
in the Ginza, Marunouchi area
This event has ended - (2015-12-05 - 2016-02-07)

poster for Simon Fujiwara “Pearl Diving”

Simon Fujiwara “Pearl Diving”

at Taro Nasu
in the Bakurocho area
This event has ended - (2016-01-16 - 2016-02-13)

poster for Yebisu International Festival for Art & Alternative Visions 2016 ― Garden in Movement

Yebisu International Festival for Art & Alternative Visions 2016 ― Garden in Movement

at Yebisu Garden Place
in the Ebisu, Daikanyama area
This event has ended - (2016-02-11 - 2016-02-20)

poster for Yusuke Asai “Seeds of Imagination, Journeys of Soil”

Yusuke Asai “Seeds of Imagination, Journeys of Soil”

at Hakone Open Air Museum
in the Yokohama, Kanagawa area
This event has ended - (2015-09-19 - 2016-02-28)

In Features Uncategorized by Jennifer Pastore 2016-01-20

It Began in Kamakura
The 2016 art year begins with an ending: After January, the Museum of Modern Art, Kamakura will close its doors after nearly 65 years as Japan’s first public museum of modern art. Focusing on the museum’s activities through 1965, the final exhibition on through January 31st looks back on the history of this cultural institution built by Junzo Sakakura under the influence of Le Corbusier. Special attention is given to the design of the building as a fusion of modernist and traditional Japanese architecture. The MuPon smartphone app can be used for a discount on admission.

Becoming Sounds
The unassuming constructions of Rie Nakajima appear as a scattering of precarious sketches throughout the gallery space. Blocks of wood, pieces of foam, a drape of fabric all come to life in a subtle composition of sound and movement which transforms the static environment of any given white cube. As part of a six-week residency, the London-based Nakajima takes on the unique spaces of the Shugoarts gallery and within this architectural frame explores the new assemblages of noise and motion which might arise from it. Through January 31st.

Recruit
Even as they prepare to sit their exams or submit their dissertations, the students of many Japanese universities are caught in the turbulent throes of mass job-hunting drives, hoping to secure a place on the professional ladder before graduating. Over half a million students participating in these organized job hunts each year set out on a frantic game of wrestling for their futures. Here at Reminders Photography Stronghold, Hiroshi Okamoto presents a photographic document of his friend’s struggle towards the path of employment, under the title of Recruit. Through January 31st.

Apichatpong Weerasethakul Film Screenings
That dark but magically churning resonance could only belong to one icon of South East Asian film, Apichatpong Weerasethakul. Held in a suspense of what emotions and myths might emerge from the forests of his characters’ minds, Apichatpong has perfected the art of quiet intensity, earning him the Palme D’Or at the Cannes film festival in 2010 for “Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives”. As part of the Apichatpong in the Woods 2016 film screenings at Theatre Image Forum, five major works of Apichatpong are shown, including the first screening of “Syndromes and a Century” in Japan, whilst also accompanied by an art program dedicated to his short art films. Through February 5th. MuPon discounts available.

“Listen, I’ll tell you the truth… the actual center of the world is where you are creating something unique.”
Tokyo Station Gallery has a delightful exhibition of contemporary prints created at Idem Paris, the Montparnasse lithography studio once frequented by masters such as Picasso, Matisse, and Chagall. Lithographs by some of today’s brightest art world stars including Lee Ufan, Miwa Yanagi, William Kentridge, and the Marcel Duchamp Prize-winning Carole Benzaken are on display in this show titled after a line from a Maha Harada novel about this hallowed atelier. A collaborative work and a film about Idem Paris by JR and David Lynch is not to be missed. Through February 7th.

Dancing With Death
Thailand’s most renowned dancer and choreographer, Pichet Klunchun, draws upon a historic form of physical expression with ancient roots, as embodied by Khon, the classic Thai masked dance, and impregnates this with all the innovation and spontaneity of modern dance to create something of hitherto un-encountered vigor and freshness. In Dancing with Death presented at Kanagawa Arts Theatre, he reinterprets the celebrations of the Phi Ta Khon festival, celebrated in the Loei province of northeastern Thailand, where a street parade of colorful masks, costumes and props welcomes a temporary merge between the human and spirit worlds. February 7th and 8th only. MuPon eligible.

Pearl Diving
Pearl Diving by the British/Japanese artist Simon Fujiwara, winner of the prestigious Cartier Award at the Frieze Art Fair, explores the intricacies of cultural conflict and international marriage through the metaphor of Mikimoto pearls. This show at Taro Nasu through February 13th coincides with Tokyo Opera City’s White Day, the first exhibit at a Japanese museum for Fujiwara.

Sputniko! + Oua! “Experimental Laboratory”
“Menstruation Machine – Takashi’s Take” by Sputniko! has gained legendary status as what may be seen as a feminist critique of society’s disgust with the natural processes of a woman’s body. This work is joined at Eye of Gyre with other subversive examinations of the hierarchy of science and technology, as seen for example in “The Moonwalk Machine – Selena’s Step”, a challenge towards the reality that in over 50 years of space travel only 12 white men have ever set their feet upon the moon’s surface. Here these works by Sputniko! are shown alongside the drawings, paintings and photographs of artist Oua!, who through the combinations of insects, plants and bacteria claims a path beyond our human-centric existence. Through February 14th.

Yebisu International Festival for Art & Alternative Visions 2016: Garden in Movement
The eighth annual media arts festival runs February 11th through February 20th. Positing that society is a constantly changing garden, this international program centers on independent and experimental film and video, while also encompassing theater, sound performance, installation art, and more. Highlights of this year’s event, spread out across multiple venues in the Ebisu area, include the Japan premiere of Chantal Akerman’s “No Home Movie,” which documents the director’s conversations with her mother, an Auschwitz survivor; video of the fog sculptures of Fujiko Nakaya; the short film “Your Embodied Garden” by Olafur Eliasson; and a series of works about land art by pioneers of the genre.

Seeds of Imagination, Journeys of Soil
Yusuke Asai is making a name for himself with giant murals resembling contemporary takes on indigenous art created with soil, mud, and other “living materials.” Seeds of Imagination, Journeys of Soil at the Hakone Open Air Museum presents previous and new works made with masking tape and dirt collected from the artist’s many travel destinations. Ends February 28th. Those who would like a glimpse of Asai’s sprawling earthen patterns in Tokyo can visit his permanent display White Lines Plants at Yoyogi Park.

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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