October ’16 Gallery Guide: Six Top Exhibitions to See

Arts Events - October 3rd, 2016
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This month, Tokyo’s art scene is filled with the greats, from ukiyo-e woodblock print master Utagawa Kuniyoshi to Cezanne and Picasso. Making October’s Gallery Guide even more well-rounded, we’ve also included exhibitions featuring paintings from the Edo period, and contemporary works that explore the notion of “the body.” For even more things to do this month, take a look at our event calendar.


Kuniyoshi Heroes

One of the masters of Japanese ukiyo-e woodblock prints, Utagawa Kuniyoshi found fame as an artist in 1827, when he published the series titled “One Hundred and Eight Heroes from Tales of the Water Margin,” based on the well-known Chinese novel, “Tales of the Water Margin.” This exhibition exhibits almost all of Kuniyoshi’s works from the popular “Heroes” series in addition to various other pictures related to “Tales of the Water Margin.”

Ukiyo-e Ota Memorial Museum of Art
Until October 31, 2016
Map and contact details here

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Christian Boltanski: “Animitas – Les Ames Qui Murmurent”

Much like Marcel Proust, the French video artist Christian Boltanski found rich material in his own past, producing several short films that made the art world stand up and pay attention. As he moved on from mining his own experience to reconstructing the memories of others, he began creating films and mixed media works that poignantly evoke individual experiences as well as the universal sense of longing that time leaves in its wake.

Tokyo Metropolitan Teien Art Museum
Until December 25, 2016
Map and contact details here

Theater of Shadows, 1984. Photo: André Morain Courtesy the artist and Marian Goodman Gallery

Theater of Shadows, 1984. Photo: André Morain Courtesy the artist and Marian Goodman Gallery

Jakuchu & Buson – Celebrating Their 300th Birthdays with a Display of Edo Period Paintings

The centerpiece of this exhibit is “Peacock and Phoenix” by celebrated painter Jakuchu Ito. The painting was rediscovered after 83 years this January, and will be shown with other Jakuchu works from the Okada Museum, as well as paintings by his contemporaries, including Yosa Buson, who with Jakuchu is also celebrating what would be his 300th birthday.

Okada Museum of Art
Until December 18, 2016
Map and contact details here

Watanabe Shiko”Cranes with Plum,Bamboo and Pine” (left screen) Mid Edo period,Okada Museum of Art

Watanabe Shiko”Cranes with Plum,Bamboo and Pine” (left screen) Mid Edo period,Okada Museum of Art

Hiroshi Sugimoto: Lost Human Genetic Archive

This exhibit features three sobering sections: a work that imagines “the demise of mankind and civilization” in 33 installations; “Abandoned Theater,” a series that brings long unused American movie theaters back to haunting life; and “Sea of Buddhas,” a work populated by dozens of Buddha figures that Sugimoto photographed at Sanjusangendo Temple over 10 years.

Tokyo Photographic Art Museum
Until November 11, 2016
Map and contact details here

Hiroshi Sugimoto (Franklin Park Theater, Boston) [Rashomon, 1950, directed by Akira Kurosawa] 2015 Gelatin silver print ©Hiroshi Sugimoto/Courtesy of Gallery Koyanagi

Hiroshi Sugimoto (Franklin Park Theater, Boston) [Rashomon, 1950, directed by Akira Kurosawa] 2015 Gelatin silver print ©Hiroshi Sugimoto/Courtesy of Gallery Koyanagi

Body / Play / Politics

What makes a body beautiful or ugly? Where have our hierarchies and judgements about the body come from? “Body / Play / Politics” presents a selection of contemporary works of art that explore the notion of “the body,” physically, spiritually, individually and collectively. This sometimes poetic, sometimes humorous exhibition provokes visitors to consider the assumptions and expectations we make about bodies, such as skin color, ethnicity and gender, in societies all around the world.

Yokohama Museum of Art
Until December 14, 2016
Map and contact details here

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Detroit Institute of Arts Exhibition

Following on from successful dates in Nagoya and Osaka, the Detroit Institute of Arts Exhibition will finally be on show for four months at the The Ueno Royal Museum. Featuring 52 masterpieces from the acclaimed Detroit museum’s collection, including work by Van Gogh, Gauguin, Monet, Picasso, Cezanne, Degas, Renoir, Matisse, and many others. This will be a rare chance to see a selection of breathtaking artworks by many of the great masters together in one place.

Ueno Royal Museum
October 7, 2016-January  21, 2017
Map and contact details here

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