Posted:Jul 26, 2019

10 Things in Tokyo: July 2019

Events and exhibitions happening this month in Tokyo and beyond

Shiota Chiharu: The Soul Trembles at Mori Art Museum
Shiota Chiharu: The Soul Trembles at Mori Art Museum

The recently revamped Museum of Contemporary Art hosts this year’s Tokyo Art Book Fair. Don’t miss this international medley of books and zines at 350 booths staffed by publishers, gallery presses, and bookshops. There will also be artist talks and other special events. July 12–15.

Fumi Imamura drew attention at the 2016 Aichi Triennale with her encaustic wax collages of flowers and their roots – works on glossy, crinkled paper that have a sublime yet earthly delicacy. Shiseido Gallery has given Imamura a solo show as part of its annual program to support rising artists. Until July 28.

Comic Abstraction by Writers at the new Bakurocho gallery Parcel considers how graffiti characters evolve and acquire lives of their own. Paintings and prints feature comic strip-esque figures that are removed from context yet manage to take on their own symbolism and language. Through July 28.

The Large and the Small – The Still and the Moving is Candida Höfer’s second exhibit at Yuka Tsuruno Gallery. The German artist, a photographer in the vein of Andreas Gursky and Bernd and Hilla Becher, captures the expansive, unpeopled interiors of public spaces such as libraries and theaters. Her current series includes oversized images that act as “abstractions of architectural spaces.” Ends August 3.

Fans of children’s books will want to head to Itabashi Art Museum for the 2019 Bologna Illustrators Exhibition. Ten Japanese artists are among the 76 illustrators chosen from nearly 3,000 for this year’s prestigious competition. Original drawings from prize-winning and notable works are on display through August 12.

Epicure and aesthete Rosanjin Kitaoji (1883–1959) revived appreciation for Japanese ceramics through his artistic pairings of pottery and food. Through August 25, Chiba City Museum of Art explores the multi-talented creator’s contributions to the artistic styles of the Showa era and after. Subscribers to the TAB and MuPon apps receive ¥100 admission discounts.

Counting is the latest show from the conceptual artist Tatsuo Miyajima. Known for his installations of blinking digits, Miyajima presents videos of his numerically themed performances, including countdowns and body paintings. At Akio Nagasawa Gallery in Ginza through August 31.

Inspired by a female nude by the woman artist Toshi Maruki, a collection-centered show at MOMAT focuses on works by and featuring women. The coed exhibition contrasts male and female gazes and traces developments in art by women through the postwar era, paying attention to gender roles and concepts of beauty and the body. Headliners include Yayoi Kusama, Leiko Ikemura, and Miyako Ishiuchi. Emancipation of Humanity: Focusing on Works by Female Artists ends October 20.

Shiota Chiharu: The Soul Trembles is the internationally acclaimed installation artist’s largest exhibition to date, displaying sculpture, photography, and performance footage, as well as her massive thread pieces entangling everything from boats to pianos. The show surveys 25 years in the career of an artist interested in “the soul-trembling experiences derived from nameless emotions.” Until October 27. Subscribers to the TAB and MuPon apps receive ¥200 admission discounts.

Christian Boltanski is having a moment in Japan. In addition to Lifetime at the National Art Center, Tokyo, Boltanski is featured in the Espace Louis Vuitton Tokyo exhibit Animitas II, which presents the last two films in Boltanski’s ‘Animitas’ series. Installations of bells arranged like constellations on a grassy bed pay tribute to small roadside altars honoring the deceased, a continuation of the artist’s interest in remembrance and the afterlife. Until November 17.

Jennifer Pastore

Jennifer Pastore

Jennifer Pastore is a writer, editor, and translator. She was editor of Tokyo Art Beat's web magazine from 2015 to 2022. Her thoughts on the Japanese art scene can be found in publications like artscape Japan.