10 Things in Tokyo: June 2018

Events and exhibitions happening this month in Tokyo and beyond

poster for Mihoko Ogaki “Defining Moment”

Mihoko Ogaki “Defining Moment”

at Ken Nakahashi
in the Shinjuku area
This event has ended - (2018-05-10 - 2018-06-16)

poster for Science Window

Science Window

at KayokoYuki
in the Ueno, Yanaka area
This event has ended - (2018-05-11 - 2018-06-17)

poster for Elena Knox “The Female is Future”

Elena Knox “The Female is Future”

at Gallery Hashimoto
in the Bakurocho area
This event has ended - (2018-06-01 - 2018-06-23)

poster for Samiro Yunoki “Patterns and Colors”

Samiro Yunoki “Patterns and Colors”

at Japan Folk-Craft Museum
in the Shibuya area
This event has ended - (2018-04-03 - 2018-06-24)

poster for Kyosai and Kyosui -The Soul of the Artist as Pioneered by Father and Daughter

Kyosai and Kyosui -The Soul of the Artist as Pioneered by Father and Daughter

at Tokyo Fuji Art Museum
in the Musashino, Tama area
This event has ended - (2018-04-01 - 2018-06-24)

poster for Modern Girl, Modern Boy - Modernity in Japan, 1920-40

Modern Girl, Modern Boy - Modernity in Japan, 1920-40

at Tobacco & Salt Museum
in the Kiyosumi, Ryogoku area
This event has ended - (2018-04-21 - 2018-07-08)

In Features by Jennifer Pastore 2018-06-01

©Tamami Iinuma, 'Hakone Gora, Sengokuhara' (2018) from 'Momentary Architecture' at Pola Museum of Art
In Defining Moment Mihoko Ogaki presents works from her series ‘The Milky Way,’ inviting viewers into a darkened room transformed into a miniature cosmos. With her plastic sculptures of people in different stages of life with light emanating from their bodies, the award-winning artist continues to explore the “fundamental wonders of life and death” and humanity’s place in the galaxy. Ends June 16.

Since finding its permanent home in Komagome in 2015, the gallery KayokoYuki has shown a strong record of free-thinking exhibitions by emerging artists. Science Window combines the tri-national talents of Ad Minoliti, Yin Ho, and Emi Otaguro. Minoliti skewers gender norms with the colorful, sharp-angled figures of her ‘Queer Deco’ print series; Ho arranges diorama-esque sculptures with intriguing materials like granite, foam, and resin; Otaguro, known for her chewing gum sculptures, joins forces with Ho to investigate relationships between themselves and the world. The show’s title is a reference to the Japanese phrase “rika no mado” (science window), meaning for a woman to leave her zipper open. What’s the point of all this? These three artists are posing the scientific question of “why?” to everything in their paths, braving exposure in the name of inquiry. Until June 17.

Dr. Elena Knox is another artist not afraid to question conventions. The Female is Future presents six videos by the Australian professor whose works “recast how women are performed and perform themselves.” The screenings here focus on fembots – robotics is a specialty of Knox’s – and how these feminine-gendered machines speak to issues ranging from aging societies to cyborgs. Through June 23.

The 95 year-old Samiro Yunoki, a disciple of the Mingei Folk Craft movement, creates charming katazome stencil-dye designs that can appear at turns Japanese-modern, inspired by Native American or Scandinavian art, and reminiscent of Matisse’s cut-outs. Patterns and Colors at the beautiful Japan Folk-Craft Museum showcases the artist’s textiles and recent projects through June 24. MuPon users receive a ¥200 admission discount to this show, and fans of Yunoki will also want to catch his Shapes on Paper at Spiral until June 3.

Now in its 21st year, the Japan Media Arts Festival presents award-winning works in the categories of Art, Entertainment, Animation, Manga, and Special Achievement. This year’s winners were chosen from more than four thousand submissions from nearly 100 countries, a new record. Previous winners include hits like Shin Godzilla and Your Name in Entertainment and My Brother’s Husband in Manga, so the 2018 event may once again hold a mirror up to Japan’s year in creative culture. Film buffs should also catch the special screenings at Toho Cinemas in Roppongi Hills. Runs June 13 through June 24. Admission to the National Art Center, Tokyo is free.

Father’s Day is June 17 in Japan, and currently the Tokyo Fuji Art Museum in Hachioji is highlighting a special father-daughter relationship, that of Kyosai Kawanabe and his daughter and fellow Ukiyo-e artist Kyosui. English and Japanese descriptions accompanying paintings and illustrations shed light on how Kyosai’s particular 19th-century style was passed down and reinterpreted in the art of Kyosui. Subjects of the pair’s works range from noh plays to fart battles to scenes of hell and soap ads. Kyosai and Kyosui – The Soul of the Artist as Pioneered by Father and Daughter ends June 24.

Take a trip back to the roaring Taisho era in Modern Girl, Modern Boy – Modernity in Japan 1920–1940. The Tobacco & Salt Museum offers a look at this period that ushered in the rise of office work, mass consumption, and modern advertising. Through vintage products and designs including cosmetics and movie posters, this show charging only ¥100 for general admission charts Japan’s course from the glitzy days of Ginza’s moga and mobo (Modern Girls and Modern Boys) up to the starkly bleaker times of the Great Depression and the Pacific War. Until July 8.

Tamami Iinuma is an architectural photographer who set her sights on not just the building, but the entire environment around it. Reflecting the architect and all others responsible for making a space what it is, her images capture a site’s mutable sense of a place and the emotions and memories it harbors. The Pola Museum of Art in Hakone is exhibiting Momentary Architecture, a selection of Iinuma’s previous work and new shots from Hakone’s cedar forest-surrounded Gora and Sengokuhara area, known for its centuries-old hot spring inns. Through July 16.

The British painter Bridgit Riley has been innovating with her optic nerve-tingling picture planes for nearly sixty years. Bridgit Riley: Paintings from the 1960s to the Present traces the development of her pioneering geometric abstractions, which can seem to move, vibrate, and shimmer with their precisely arranged lines and shapes. The Kawamura Memorial DIC Museum of Art in Chiba shows Riley’s first exhibit in Japan in 38 years with 30 works drawing from both her black-and-white and color pieces. MuPon users receive ¥200 off admission. Ends August 26.

If all you’ve asked for are sharks with cameras attached to their heads, well, you’re in luck. Saitama’s AV hub Skip City, which features a museum, theater, and professional studios, presents What Do Animals See? Bio-logging 2018. Geared toward families and animal enthusiasts, it offers bird, fish, and tortoise-eye views of the world in footage from creature-mounted devices, with examples of this equipment also on display. Through September 2. ¥100 MuPon discounts.

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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