Japan from the inside out

Japan-The art lover’s paradise

Posted by ampontan on Tuesday, February 20, 2007


If you’re in Japan and your idea of art is something more than manga, J-pop, and anime, you’ve got it better than you might think. There are excellent museums of all kinds even in medium-sized provincial cities, and the larger the city, the greater the variety of art.

Here are just a few examples of what you could see today, with previews from the museums’ websites.

Asia in Love / Fukuoka Asia Art Museum
This exhibit at the world’s only museum dedicated to modern Asian art presents a contemporary Asian take on love in all its forms. Runs until April 3.

Taisho Retro and Showa Modern Posters / Himeji City Museum of Art
This exhibition shows posters both as printed matter and as an advertising medium, with a focus on the production and printing technologies. Most of the posters shown are about 100 years old. The one you can see in the link is advertising carbonated water. Note that horizontal printing in those days was from right to left, as it was in China. Runs until March 25; 800 yen

Nabeshima: Porcelain for the Shogunate / Museum of Oriental Ceramics, Osaka
In Arita, in present-day Saga Prefecture, one of Japan’s leading ceramic production centers, artisans created ceramic art for the Nabeshima han feudal lords, but their work came to be prized the world over. This exhibit of 230 works from several museums and private collections is a glimpse of the pinnacle of the art. Runs until March 22; 900 yen

Maori Treasures from the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa / Tokyo National Museum
This is the first major exhibition of Maori art in Japan. It features about 160 pieces that include canoes and weapons in addition to clothing and jewelry. Runs until March 18; 600 yen

Surrealisme / Museum of Modern Art, Saitama
The exhibition includes 110 paintings, photographs, and other works by 30 artists, including Man Ray, Ernst, Magritte, Miro, Dali, and Picasso. Nothing else need be said. Runs until March 22; 900 yen.

Note that all these exhibitions are cheaper than a movie ticket. Also, all the websites are to be found on the left sidebar for future reference.

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