10 Things in Tokyo: January 2017

A short list of events and exhibitions happening in Tokyo and beyond in January

poster for Apichatpong Weerasethakul: Ghosts in the Darkness

Apichatpong Weerasethakul: Ghosts in the Darkness

at Tokyo Photographic Art Museum
in the Ebisu, Daikanyama area
This event has ended - (2016-12-13 - 2017-01-29)

poster for Yozo Hamaguchi in Winter: Curtains of Color – Hamaguchi with Yuji Hamada and Sawako Ura

Yozo Hamaguchi in Winter: Curtains of Color – Hamaguchi with Yuji Hamada and Sawako Ura

at Musee Hamaguchi Yozo / Yamasa Collection
in the Kyobashi, Nihonbashi area
This event has ended - (2016-12-06 - 2017-02-12)

poster for Naoki Ishikawa “Capturing the Map of Light on This Planet”

Naoki Ishikawa “Capturing the Map of Light on This Planet”

at Contemporary Art Center, Art Tower Mito
in the Kanto: others area
This event has ended - (2016-12-17 - 2017-02-26)

poster for Etsuko Ichihara “Digital Shamanism: Japanese Funeral and Festivity”

Etsuko Ichihara “Digital Shamanism: Japanese Funeral and Festivity”

at NTT ICC Inter Communication Center
in the Shinjuku area
This event has ended - (2016-12-20 - 2017-03-12)

poster for Shoko Ogushi “Shaolin Temple”

Shoko Ogushi “Shaolin Temple”

at Vanilla Gallery
in the Ginza, Marunouchi area
This event has ended - (2017-01-08 - 2017-01-21)

poster for Gaetan Kubo “My Body is my Laboratory – Or I call Earth Coincidence Control Office”

Gaetan Kubo “My Body is my Laboratory – Or I call Earth Coincidence Control Office”

at Kodama Gallery | Tennozu
in the Tokyo: Others area
This event has ended - (2017-01-21 - 2017-03-04)

poster for Uniting Architecture and Society - The Approach of Otaka Masato

Uniting Architecture and Society - The Approach of Otaka Masato

at National Archives of Modern Architecture
in the Ueno, Yanaka area
This event has ended - (2016-10-26 - 2017-02-05)

In Features by TABlog Editors 2017-01-14

Apichatpong Weerasethakul: Ghosts in the Darkness
Seeing an Apichatpong Weerasethakul film is like letting someone dream for you. The Palme d’Or-winning Thai director traffics in the imagery of nature, memories, and illusions, and his rising profile in international film circles makes him another strong choice for TOP Museum in this exhibition centered on his photography and video installations. (Films in Thai with English and Japanese subtitles). Through January 29th.

Yozo Hamaguchi in Winter: Curtains of Color
Yozo Hamaguchi was a 20th century printmaker with a Parisian pedigree who developed color mezzotint, a technique combining yellow, red, blue, and black plates to produce a rich variety of shades, demonstrated in his tranquil landscapes and fruit bowl still lifes evoking quiet, mysterious depths. Showcased here are some of his most vibrantly hued prints, along with the works of contemporary photographer Yuji Hamada and the experimental textile designer Sawako Ura, both of whom also take an interest in expressions of nature through interplays of color. Until February 12th. 100 yen discounts for up to two people with MuPon.

The Wondrous Beauty and Utility of Japanese Handmade Paper
Lixil Gallery, a space focused on the use of various materials in art and industry, turns its attention to washi. Both durable and beautiful, this handmade paper created from tree bark and plant fibers boasts a millennium of tradition in Japan: It has been shredded, folded, molded, and woven into everything from umbrellas to cups to military costumes. See how washi has shown up in some of the most stunning and essential objects in the Japanese history at this exhibition of items from the 17th through 20th centuries, with a special selection of Korean works as well. Ends February 25th.

Naoki Ishikawa “Capturing the Map of Light on this Planet”
Mountaineer Naoki Ishikawa has scaled the highest summits on all seven continents and journeyed from the North to South Poles. Art Tower Mito in Ibaraki Prefecture presents his photography blending anthropological and folklore-informed perspectives in his first major solo exhibition, envisioned as an Ishikawa-led expedition across the globe. Surveying places from Polynesia to Antarctica in large-format images, this show promises insights into “the art of living,” as understood through cultural wisdom and tradition around the world. Through February 26th.

Etsuko Ichihara “Digital Shamanism: Japanese Funeral and Festivity”
Etsuko Ichihara is another who artist draws from ancient knowledge and ritual, and ICC features two of her high-tech projects: Digital Shamanism sends robots programed with the appearances and gestures of the deceased to live with surviving family members in an approximation of Buddhist funeral customs; Namahage in Tokyo recreates an Akita practice of “strengthening family and communal ties” by scaring children straight with village elders dressed up as long-haired demons. Whether this is all creepy, brilliant, or both is up to the viewer, but either way Ichihara’s tech-based reinterpretations of Japanese rites that have ushered people through the stages of life for centuries are something to see. Until March 12th.

Shoko Ogushi “Shaolin Temple”
Shoko Ogushi has been possessed with a fascination of infiltrating male only spaces and through her lens capture the “the beauty and enigma of men from a female viewpoint”. Having first initiated her “Men Behind the Scenes” project during her studies in London in 1998 she has entered the worlds of Eton boys, German youth on national service and international pentathletes. Having spent much time in Europe Ogushi has recently turned her eye to the “fraternities” of Asia, with her first subject in the region being the world heritage site of Shaolin Temple on Mount Song in China. Here at Vanilla Gallery she observes the daily life of boys and young men on their path to monkhood as they train in martial arts and medicine. Against the backdrop of increasing threats and imbalances that are observed in China today, the veneration of Shaolin martial arts is overwhelming, with young boys dreaming of embarking on a journey that would eventually lead them to becoming monks. Ogushi was given permission to enter areas of the temple that are usually off limits and spent three years photographing the day-to-day life of the men residing there. This is a chance to see inside the heavy gates of this world-famous temple. Until January 21st.

Gaetan Kubo “My Body is my Laboratory – Or I call Earth Coincidence Control Office”
Gaetan Kubo is a young artist who has been enjoying much of the art scene spotlight of late, with a solo exhibition at the ICC and appearances at Roppongi Art Night being just a few examples of his popularity. With a key concern for psychoanalysis and parapsychology Kubo has identified himself to be suffering from an imaginary illness which requires treatment through a series of kinesthetic devices. Developing various theories of the mechanics of the mind and the relevant forms of treatment for peculiar conditions he takes her his own body as a site of experimentation, often drawing upon particular reference to the occult, and examining the relation between electronic media forms and mental instability. From January 21st to March 4th.

Uniting Architecture and Society – The Approach of Otaka Masato
One of the leading members of the Metabolism Group, Masato Otaka(1923-2010), is renowned for such ambitious initiatives as the Motomachi Housing project, Hiroshima, based on utopian ideals of “group form”. This senior figure of one of post-war Japan’s most renowned architectural movements promoted the concept of “PAU (Prefabrication / Art & Architecture / Urbanism)” as principles which should guide city based architectural programs as collective, rather than private property, envisioning urban structures as an embodiment of social space. Whilst the ideal and reality of architecture often encounter a conflicting gap in their realization, with Okata himself not immune to such criticism, the motivating philosophy of his projects may continue to inspire and expand the possibilities of architecture today. Until February 5th.

Varda Caivano Exhibition
The London based painter returns to Tomio Koyama Gallery with her third exhibition in Japan, further renewing the evocative impression of her “collage of actions” in a visceral materiality of paint and surface.  Lying somewhere between the abstract and the figurative, amongst the profusion of painterly marks one might discern landscapes and objects emerging from her color fields which communicate an open fluidity which embrace chance encounters between the medium and the support, propagating a positive space for doubt. Caivano’s paintings attempt to establish contact points of time and space, embracing both improvisation and orientation,  materiality and illusion, earnestly pursuing the possibilities of contemporary painting today. Until February 4th.

Yohji Yamamoto + Yuka Asakura “Painting and Weaving Opportunity”
One of the giants of the Japanese fashion world, Yohji Yamamoto never ceases in his fervor for his singular designs which push all trends to the sidelines. Here his force of creativity and unswerving dedication to his own unique vision is celebrated in this high profile solo exhibition, particularly paying tribute to the cross-fertilization between art and fashion, as well as the polar bind of attraction and repulsion between opposing elements. The exhibition examines his recent collaborations with the painter Yuuka Asakura whose frenzied abstract canvases have always spoken of a strong sense of corporeality and find them selves fully “embodied” as they make their way into the garment designs of Yamamoto. Until March 12th.

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