10 Things in Tokyo: August Round-Up

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

poster for Guess What? Hardcore Contemporary Art’s Truly a World Treasure— Selected Works from Yageo Foundation Collection

Guess What? Hardcore Contemporary Art’s Truly a World Treasure— Selected Works from Yageo Foundation Collection

at The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo
in the Chiyoda area
This event has ended - (2014-06-20 - 2014-08-24)

poster for Fiona Tan “Nellie”

Fiona Tan “Nellie”

at Wako Works of Art
in the Roppongi, Nogizaka area
This event has ended - (2014-07-19 - 2014-09-27)

poster for Takashi Arai “Exposed in a Hundred Suns”

Takashi Arai “Exposed in a Hundred Suns”

at PGI
in the Roppongi, Nogizaka area
This event has ended - (2014-07-25 - 2014-09-20)

poster for Fiona Tan “Terminology”

Fiona Tan “Terminology”

at Tokyo Photographic Art Museum
in the Ebisu, Daikanyama area
This event has ended - (2014-07-19 - 2014-09-23)

In Features by Emily Wakeling 2014-08-01

Michael Landy, 'Art Bin' (2010) Installation view, Yokohama Museum of Art

First on the agenda is the fifth Yokohama Triennale, happening at the Yokohama Museum of Art and Shinko Pier Exhibition Hall until November 3. This year’s artistic director is Yasumasa Morimura, an artist best-known for his self-portraits modeled off Western masterpieces. His chosen subtitle for the Triennale is the epic “Art Farenheit 451: Sailing into the Sea of Oblivion”, with a theme surrounding humanity’s unknown future. Dominating the main venue is Michael Landy’s Art Bin (2010), a rather self-explanatory piece in which selected participants can dispose of art works. As described by the Triennale, it’s a celebration of failure.

August is also the month of Indonesian-born Dutch artist Fiona Tan, with two separate solo exhibitions happening in the city as well as being featured in the Mori Art Museum’s large children-themed group exhibition, “Go-Betweens: The World Seen Through Childrens’ Eyes” (until August 31st). As well as having pieces at Wako Works of Art until the 27th of September, the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography is showing a large, mid-career retrospective of her video works, which cross between both documentary and fiction. Many of her videos delicately portray cultural differences, within groups and among individuals, and how these representations become fixed in memory. “Terminology” runs until September 23rd.

There are three leading contemporary Japanese artists with solo exhibitions this month. Takashi Arai works in the early daguerreotype method of photography, using the medium’s inherent use of exposure to make links to his ongoing interest in the history of nuclear energy. “Exposed in a Hundred Suns” is showing at Photo Gallery International until September 20th. Another is Tadashi Kawamata, whose work crosses between art and architecture. Misa Shin Gallery is showing documentation of “Tokyo in Progress 2010-2013,” a project that involved three observation towers located in various locations around Tokyo in collaboration with local residents. The towers highlighted the ever-changing cityscape and redefined the public spaces in which they were built. Until September 27th. Third, Taiji Matsue is a photographer known for his extremely macro, bird’s-eye views of landscapes. His images are on display at NADiff a/p/a/r/t/ to coincide with the launch of his new photobook until September 7th.

Art collectors are the central theme for the current exhibition at the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo. The curiously titled “Guess What? Hardcore Contemporary Art’s Truly a World Treasure— Selected Works from Yageo Foundation Collection” brings together a private collection that features international and Japanese artists such as Marc Quinn, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Andy Warhol, Francis Bacon and Ron Muek.

Finally, in the world of ceramics, Osamu Suzuki was a leader in the field during Japan’s postwar period. The recently renovated Tokyo Station Gallery is hosting a major retrospective of his works, including pieces that have never been displayed in public before. Until August 31st. More beautiful objects are to be found in a touring exhibition from the National Palace Museum of Taipei, one of the world’s most impressive art museums. While the European masters always seem to be on tour in Japan, it is quite a rare treat to see works from an Asian collection. The National Palace Museum houses many stone, metal and ceramic objects kept safe from the political turmoil on mainland China during the 20th century. Until September 15th.

In other parts of the country, since it is the season for traveling, extra mention goes to the Sapporo International Art Festival, with guest director Ryuichi Sakamoto (July 19 until September 28), the Biwako Biennale (opening next month on September 13 until November 9), and this year’s Hiroshima Art Prize exhibition by Colombian artist Doris Salcedo (July 19 until October 13).

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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