10 Things in Tokyo: February Roundup

A short list of exhibitions and events happening across Tokyo during February.

poster for 6th Yebisu International Festival for Art & Alternative Visions “True Colors”

6th Yebisu International Festival for Art & Alternative Visions “True Colors”

at Tokyo Photographic Art Museum
in the Ebisu, Daikanyama area
This event has ended - (2014-02-07 - 2014-02-23)

poster for Hiraki Sawa “Under the Box, Beyond the Bounds”

Hiraki Sawa “Under the Box, Beyond the Bounds”

at Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery
in the Shinjuku area
This event has ended - (2014-01-18 - 2014-03-30)

poster for Kohei Nawa “Sandwich”

Kohei Nawa “Sandwich”

at Gyre Gallery
in the Omotesando, Aoyama area
This event has ended - (2013-12-08 - 2014-02-16)

In Features by Emily Wakeling 2014-02-02

Carsten Nicolai 'crt mgn' (2013) Media installation

Contemporary art gallery SCAI The Bathhouse celebrates their 25th year with an exhibition of the artists who have most influenced SCAI’s success, including Kohei Nawa, Tadanori Yokoo, Lee Ufan, Julian Opie, Mariko Mori, and Anish Kapoor. Until March 8th.

Kohei Nawa is also featured in a current display of works from Sandwich, a large-scale artists’ studio in Kyoto. Nawa, a Kansai native, is the main director of the initiative alongside 40 or so creative practitioners. The exhibition runs until February 16th.

Tokyo artists Chim↑Pom staged their latest happening early one January morning on the streets of Shinjuku, as the wedding celebration of one of the group’s members became a demonstration-like display themed ‘Love is Over’. Documentation and artworks will be shown at HiromiYoshii Roppongi from February 15th.

February is going to be a big month for new media art in Tokyo. First, the “17th Japan Media Arts Festival” will run from February 5th until the 16th at The National Art Center, Tokyo. The annual event gives prizes for outstanding works in the fields of art, entertainment, animation and manga. A multimedia event called “Parallel Crossing” at the at Nihon University is also promising a unique combination of audio-visual installation with live dancers and actors.

The “6th Yebisu Festival for Art and Alternative Visions” will be happening at the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography from February 7th until the 23rd. Since its beginning, “Yebizo” has proven to be an understated but quality festival of new media art from around the world. The exhibition occupies all three levels of the museum as well as offering a diverse film program.

Over at Tokyo’s only museum devoted entirely to new media art, on February 22nd, the NTT ICC Inter Communication Center will be hosting an interesting artists’ talk hosted by the Waseda University BioAesthetics Platform (metaPhorest). Speakers will include several artists and researchers including representatives of metaPhorest, SymbioticA, BCL, and Australian media artist Lawrence English.

Also over at Tokyo Opera City is a large solo exhibition of London-based artist Hiraki Sawa and his charming, magic-realist videos. The exhibition runs until March 30th.

Beyond new media, the Hara Museum of Contemporary Art have an exhibition of extraordinary paintings by Michael Borremans. The Belgian artist took the rather unusual path of beginning with photography and then switching to painting, and his roots show in the decided stillness of his images. Taka Ishii Gallery Photography/Film is showing an interesting collection of figurative works by Ayaka Yamamoto, on display until February 8th. Described as portraits, the images feature different women and girls the artist encountered across Finland, Estonia, Latvia and France.

Emily Wakeling

Emily Wakeling. Emily Wakeling is a writer and curator who used to be based in Tokyo. Hailing from Brisbane, Australia, Emily wrote a Masters thesis on images of girls in contemporary Japanese art. She also curated some local sound art events. Her research interests cover Asian and Australian contemporary art, young women artists, globalisation and art, and new media. » See other writings


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