Here and There

Here and There

A list of Japan-related events and exhibitions beyond Japan Society.


July 18, 8—11 PM

Brooklyn Brewery
79 N. 11th St.
Brookly, NY 11249

This round of SUMO STEW will feature Lamb Chankonabe made by Brooklyn’s MoMo Sushi Shack. Every guest will also get a special bento box, composed of Japanese-inspired dishes from top local chefs.

Our hosts at Brooklyn Brewery will have on tap a selection of draft beers, from their year-round offerings, seasonal pours, and limited availability brews. Whisky cocktails, sake, shochu, and tea will also be on hand.

Tickets and information:
(Must be 21+ to attend)
Use code KANPAI10 to receive $10 off!

*The $55 ticket grants each participant a bento box, bowl of chankonabe, beer token, and two drink tickets to be used for a taste of sake, shochu or whisky—and round after round of sumo. Additional drinks will be available for purchase. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to Japan Society.


Modern Japan: Prints from the Taisho Period and Beyond

San Diego Museum of Art
On view through 8.13.2017

Diana Chou, Ph.D., Associate Curator of East Asian Art, lectures on the exhibition Modern Japan: Prints from the Taisho Era (1912–1926) and Beyond, largely drawn from the collection, including many prints on display at the Museum for the frst time. Two major groups of artists and printmakers are the focus of this exhibition—represented are Sosaku Hanga (or Creative Print Movement), which gave a new genre for Japanese woodblock prints, and Shin Hanga (or New Print Movement). Sponsored by the Asian Arts Council

Image credit: Torii Kotondo, Combing the Hair, 1929. Woodblock. Gift of Mrs. Clark M. Cavenee. 1954.50.

New Women for a New Age: Japanese Beauties, 1890s - 1930s

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
On view through 8.20.2017

Examine the changing image of Japanese women though prints, book illustrations, and photographs made in Japan from the 1890s to the 1930s. During this crucial period of rapid modernization, traditional ideas of ideal beauty and behavior intermingled with imported styles and concepts. Arranged in roughly chronological order, the exhibition begins with ukiyo-e woodblock prints of the late Meiji era (1868–1912) and postcards that include both photographs and artists’ depictions. A recent gift of kuchi-e prints—color woodblock frontispieces for books of the early 1900s, usually romantic fiction—makes up the exhibition’s core. Shin hanga prints from the 1910s and ‘30s depict beautiful women in both traditional and modern styles.

These works can be interpreted in several ways: as glamorized reflections of the lives of Japanese women during a time of rapid social change; as idealized expressions of heterosexual male desire; and as metaphorical images of Japan itself, with the young women standing in for their entire country and its search for national identity.

Image credit: Itō Shinsui, Woman Looking at a Mirror (detail), 1916. Woodblock print; ink and color on paper. Chinese and Japanese Special Fund.

Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garcons

Metropolitan Museum of Art
On view through 9.04.2017

The Costume Institute's spring 2017 exhibition will examine the work of Japanese fashion designer Rei Kawakubo, known for her avant-garde designs and ability to challenge conventional notions of beauty, good taste, and fashionability. The thematic show will feature approximately 150 examples of Kawakubo's womenswear for Comme des Garçons dating from the early 1980s to her most recent collection.

The galleries will illustrate the designer's revolutionary experiments in "in-betweenness"—the space between boundaries. Objects will be organized into eight aesthetic expressions of interstitiality in Kawakubo's work: Fashion/Anti-Fashion, Design/Not Design, Model/Multiple, Then/Now, High/Low, Self/Other, Object/Subject, and Clothes/Not Clothes. Kawakubo breaks down the imaginary walls between these dualisms, exposing their artificiality and arbitrariness.

Image credit: Rei Kawakubo (Japanese, born 1942) for Comme des Garçons (Japanese, founded 1969). Body Meets Dress–Dress Meets Body, spring/summer 1997; Courtesy of Comme des Garçons. Photograph by © Paolo Roversi

Takashi Murakami: The Octopus Eats Its Own Leg

Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago
On view through 9.24.2017

Known for his collaborations with pop icon Kanye West and fashion house Louis Vuitton, and for vibrant anime-inspired characters, Japanese artist Takashi Murakami (b. 1962) has blurred the boundaries throughout his career between high and low culture, ancient and modern, East and West. The MCA is proud to present a major retrospective of his paintings, featuring fifty works that span three decades of his career, from the artist’s earliest mature works—many of which are being shown in North America for the first time—to his recent, monumentally scaled paintings. The exhibition, titled Takashi Murakami: The Octopus Eats Its Own Leg, shows how Murakami’s art is rooted in traditions of Japanese painting and folklore, and highlights the artist’s careful attention to craft and materials. It also showcases the artist’s astute eye for the contemporary influences of globalization, media culture, the continued threats of nuclear power.

Murakami’s increasingly complex paintings are filled with characters and scenarios both cute and menacing, saccharine sweet and critically acidic. They are evidence of a conflicted, concerned, and committed commentator on cultural production who recognizes that any effective “hook” is bound to have a sharp point. Throughout his career, and especially over the last ten years, Murakami has combined spectacle with sophistication, transforming the art world while establishing his own reputation within it. Takashi Murakami: The Octopus Eats Its Own Leg is organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago and is curated by the MCA’s James W. Alsdorf Chief Curator Michael Darling.

Image credit: Takashi Murakami, And Then, And Then And Then And Then And Then (Red), 1996–97. Acrylic on canvas mounted on board; 2 panels, each: 110 x 118 in. (280 x 300 cm). Courtesy of Blum & Poe, Los Angeles/New York/Tokyo. © 1996–97 Takashi Murakami/Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved Photo: Norihiro Ueno

Visible Vaults

San Diego Museum of Art
On view through 11.20.2019

The Visible Vaults will recreate part of The San Diego Museum of Art's most carefully guarded area, a place that is invisible to most visitors—the vaults where the thousands of works of art in our collection are stored. Often curators cannot put everything on view that deserves to be displayed; some works of art are too fragile, some are too light-sensitive, and others do not have the proper context in the galleries. However in this behind-the-scenes display, visitors will have the opportunity to discover nearly 300 little-known masterpieces, including works on paper, sculpture, ceramics, cloisonné, snuff bottles, tiles, and paintings. They will be able to open drawers, peek into virtual storerooms, and take the time to sketch and observe some of the great treasures of the collection.

One of the strengths of the Museum’s permanent collection is its print collection. Visible Vaults introduces guests to printmaking techniques used all over the world. In the first iteration, Japanese woodblock prints from the 19th century will be showcased alongside notable prints from Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. Additional works from Alexander Calder, Andy Warhol, Henry Moore, Auguste Rodin, Charles Reiffel and Lee Krasner will also be on display.

Image credit: Ando Hiroshige, Sudden Shower over Shin-Ohashi Bridge and Atake, 1857. Woodblock. The San Diego Museum of Art; Bequest of Mrs. Cora Timken Burnett. 1957.247.

Calendar of Events

August 2017

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