10 Things in Tokyo: April 2018

Events and exhibitions happening this month in Tokyo and beyond

poster for Museum of Broken Relationships

Museum of Broken Relationships

at 3331 Arts Chiyoda
in the Chiyoda area
This event has ended - (2018-03-31 - 2018-04-14)

poster for Daido Moriyama “Ango”

Daido Moriyama “Ango”

at Poetic Scape
in the Ebisu, Daikanyama area
This event has ended - (2018-03-21 - 2018-04-22)

poster for Mograg 10th Anniversary Exhibition “Ten”

Mograg 10th Anniversary Exhibition “Ten”

at Mograg Gallery
in the Ueno, Yanaka area
This event has ended - (2018-03-30 - 2018-04-22)

poster for The Greatest Eccentricity: Realism in Japanese Art

The Greatest Eccentricity: Realism in Japanese Art

at Fuchu Art Museum
in the Musashino, Tama area
This event has ended - (2018-03-10 - 2018-05-06)

poster for Miriam Cahn “Photographs”

Miriam Cahn “Photographs”

at Wako Works of Art
in the Roppongi, Nogizaka area
This event has ended - (2018-03-10 - 2018-05-12)

In Features by Jennifer Pastore 2018-04-02

Shigeo Toya, 'Woods II' 1989-1990 ©Shigeo Toya, Installation View at Hara Museum ARC

All the way from Europe, the award-winning Museum of Broken Relationships offers commiseration and perhaps catharsis for anyone who has ever loved and lost. Anonymous stories and “artifacts” from doomed romances around the world are on display. At 3331 Arts Chiyoda until April 14.

A couple years after WWII, Ango Sakaguchi penned the short story In The Cherry Forest, Beneath Flowers in Full Bloom, a dark, twistedly funny tale of a murderous bandit who fears only cherry blossoms. With April being the season of sakura, Ango at Poetic Scape in Nakameguro is showing Daido Moriyama’s black and white photographs used in a reprint of Sakaguchi’s story with both Japanese and English editions available. Ends April 22.

Mograg has billed itself as a source of “lowbrow Japanese art” for a decade now. This space championing illustrators, designers, mangaka, and others outside the purview of academic and mainstream art celebrates its tenth year with a two-part show of 52 artists, including character designer Yukinori Dehara, digital collage-maker Kazuki Umezawa, and fantasy-futurist Kyotaro. Be sure to check out events like parties, art performances, and DJ sessions, too. Through April 22.

What is reality, anyway? That’s the question of The Greatest Eccentricity: Realism in Japanese Art, an exhibition of Nihonga from the Edo period, before the Meiji Restoration ushered in Western norms of Realism. Hyper-detailed at times and distorted at others, these paintings by masters such as Okyo Maruyama demonstrate uniquely Japanese fixations with “truth” over beauty, veering sometimes paradoxically into the uncanny. At Fuchu Art Museum until May 6. Twenty percent off admission with MuPon.

Miriam Cahn is known for her snapshot-like abstract oils on themes of feminism, refugees, and antinuclear movements. In photographs at Wako Works of Art, she takes an interdisciplinary approach, placing her nature photography and photos of her nature paintings side by side. Ends May 12. Another foreign artist’s show to catch this month is Henry Taylor’s Here and There at Blum & Poe. Exhibiting for the first time in Japan, Taylor has become a bit of an international celebrity himself for his narrative-infused, deeply empathetic portraits of friends, family, and well-known figures in the African American community. Through May 19.

The Tower of the Sun in Osaka recently reopened its interior, giving the public a chance to wind up around the psychedelic Tree of Life inside Taro Okamoto’s 70-meter tower opened in 1970 for the Japan World Exposition. Tower of the Sun 1967–2018: What Did Taro Okamoto Question? at the artist’s Tokyo base explores the premise behind this structure that has evolved into equal parts tourist attraction, artistic statement, and temple to Japan’s postwar era. Ends May 27.

Golden Week Part 1 starts Saturday, April 28, and those looking ahead to the holidays might want to book a trip to Art on the Road – Three Travelling Exhibitions From the Hara Museum. This multifaceted show looks back on three globe-touring exhibitions from the 1990s: “A Primal Spirit: Ten Contemporary Japanese Sculptors,” “Photography and Beyond in Japan,” and “Shiro Kuramata Exhibition,” the third focused on an interior design icon. (Re)experience some of Japan’s most important contemporary artists from the last 30 years at Gunma Prefecture’s Hara Museum Arc, located next to the idyllic Ikaho Green Bokujo ranch with nearby hot springs. Through June 24 with ¥100 MuPon discounts.

Kozue Hibino is a celebrated costume designer whose projects range from outfits for musicians to NHK programs to films like Ge Ge Ge no Kitaro. To celebrate her 60th birthday – an important one marking one full cycle around the Chinese Zodiac – “60” at Ichihara Lakeside Museum in Chiba toasts her 30-year career of making colorful, wildly imaginative costumes you can see in action during dance performances. April 6 to June 24. ¥100 off with MuPon.

The Ghibli Museum zooms in on one of the most endearing details of its films: depictions of food. In panel displays Delicious! Animating Memorable Meals recreates scenes like Chihiro of Spirited Away tearfully chomping into a rice ball. Another room presents life-sized versions of Satsuki and Mei’s kitchen in My Neighbor Totoro and a mess hall from Castle in the Sky. You’ll need to book tickets in advance to this exhibition extended until November by popular demand.

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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