tokyo life

Archive for the 'Art' Category

Art all around

Last Sunday we went over to the east side to check out the Hussein Chalayan show, us just having returned from Turkey and all.

On the way to the museum, children’s handmade paper noren were lined up on a temple wall.





The exhibit was riveting. His personal history and identity as misplaced Turkish person is a big factor in all his work and we were hugely inspired by how he (so consistently) took his super conceptual ideas and managed to execute them in a really beautiful and innovative way. Too bad photos weren’t allowed inside, but here are some archival images from his past collections.






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April 12: And we got nothing to show for it

The most memorable of all was the last place we visited, the Chichu museum designed by Tadao Ando. Chichu, meaning inside or the middle of earth/land. Unbelievably, these are the only shots we have from there because this time we were forced to put the camera in a locker before entering the museum. The museum houses only a few selected pieces by Turrell, De Maria and Monet, and they are probably the luckiest artwork in the world. The building structure seemed to be literally built around each one of them and the rooms specifically calibrated for their display and our experience.

In Tokyo we often see of Japan’s strive for perfection in material goods and mass consumption - but here we were blown away by how it was applied to the exhibition of art. It was an incredible experience of art, culture and nature all in one, the highlight of our Japan tour so far.

On the way to the museum was a garden recreated from study of Monet’s paintings.



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April 12: More art houses

SANAA-designed Honmura Lounge. What a great space. Upstairs is office.




More amazing art houses by Tatsuo Miyajima (the numbers art), James Turrell & Tadao Ando (the darkness art), and Shinro Ohtake (the crazy art). Photography was not allowed and we wanted to respect the art and all, but it was way too hard to resist.









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April 12: Art houses

A short shuttle bus ride away from Benesse complex is Honmura, another Naoshima art project that turns old houses from this sleepy island village into art. We walked around the village following the ‘art house map’. There were around 10 or so? Installing art in a remote fishing village may sound cheesy and potentially pretentious, but none of them were. They were all incredibly thoughtful and just really really amazing to experience. The best part was that it felt as if they belonged there. It was as if you don’t know where art ends and life begins.

Breakfast with Basquiat.


Walking around Honmura.
















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April 11: Park full of art

After check-in at our room in the Park House, we went out for a walk and ran into so much art. It was great.
















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April 11: All the photos you weren’t supposed to take

Sorry museum guards…















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Art overload

Fan took us to Moganshan lu, an area jam packed full of warehouses-turned-art-galleries. Amidst the popular searching-for-identity theme and critique-on-consumerism theme, one gallery we went to was perhaps the most overtly political and the most impressive.





















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Ginza outing last weekend

Dropped by the ggg gallery to see the MM Paris exhibit. Giant-size posters were just gorgeous. I did not dig the distracting wallpaper but Eric liked them.


Dinner at an South Indian restaurant with their humongous nan. South Indian cuisine is definitely quite different from our usual curry fair. Dharmasagara


A walk through the Tsukiji market area. There were still a few sushi eateries open, but mostly quite subdued. Very different vibe from the day time.





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TokyoTen in LA

Last Saturday was the opening of TokyoTen show at the Nucleus Gallery. We had a great fun meeting old friends and making new friends. Thanks all for coming!












Gallery Nucleus

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New semester of teaching

Fall semester starts today at TUJ. This student’s piece (not from my class) caught my eye during the summer student show.



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Illicit videos

Yesterday I went to see the excellent Yugo Nakamura “Now Updating…” show at the ggg Gallery. First floor was the interactive gallery which was great fun, and the basement was the demonstration video gallery. The work and installation were both super smart and compelling - stuff made for digital nerd heaven. Quite emotive too - all videos move according to the beep of the clock, and every minute or so all screen in the room collectively turn blank, then pink, then green, and then back to whatever they were doing. Here are the few videos I managed to capture before an attendant stopped me…

Exhibition archive is here.

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Catch that show

Today was the last day of the Turner Prize show at Mori Museum.

There’s our house! From the 52nd floor of Mori Building.

Louise Bourgeois’ Maman from below.

_Keitai cam

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Getty Villa

One sunny morning at the Getty Villa in Pacific Palisades, not far from our hotel.


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Tokyo National Museum’s Korean artifacts









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Araki’s flowers

Nobuyoshi Araki’s “Flower of Love” show was at Rathole Gallery in Omotesando. This was the first of his flower photographs. It was taken at the hospital on January 27, 1990, the day his wife passed away. Since then he has continued to take black and white photographs of flowers. The last one was taken this year, on his wife’s death anniversary.
노부요시 아라키의 “사랑의 꽃”이라는 전시회를 보러갔다. 이 사진이 1990ë…„ 1ì›” 27일 ì•„ë‚´ê°€ 죽은 ë‚  병원에서 찍은 최초의 꽃 사진이라고 한다. 이후 계속하여 꽃을 소재로 사진을 찍었고, 마지막으로 찍은것은 올해 1ì›” 27일이라고 한다.

Not your regular elegant flower photos. A lot of his flowers are old, dried, and twisted in an almost grotesque form, and to top that off, sometimes paired with dried lizards or a mini godzilla figure. They are comical, but sad. They seem more close to life than anything out there.
우리가 보통 생각하는 “아름다운” 꽃이 아니라, 시들고 뒤틀어진 꽃 사진이 많았다. 심지어는 ì–´ë–¤ 꽃에는 마른 도마뱀이나 고질라 인형이 놓여있었다. 한편으론 웃기고, 한편으론 슬픈것이 ê¼­ 우리가 사는 모습같았다.

Together, they make a beautiful and richly textured pattern on the gallery wall.

Araki’s wife on the sign outside the gallery.

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