One of my favorite ways to spend a weekend here in Tokyo is to visit some of the hundreds (thousands really) of art galleries in the city, as well as the many graduation exhibitions of the major art universities. Recently I have run into the same artist twice, Shunsuke Taira (平俊介). First at the graduation exhibition at the Tokyo University of the Arts, and yesterday at the Gallery MoMo Projects in Roppongi. Some of the paintings are industrial reinterpretations of buildings in and around Asakusa. Can you spot which ones? If I was an art collector I would snap all of his work up right now.
The Gallery Moma will have the exhibition until March 8th.
Tokyo is filled with great little galleries scattered all across the metropolis. One gallery that is a little bit different from the others, not only in the art it puts on, but also the building itself, is Scai the Bathhouse. Housed in a Meiji era classic styled former public bathhouse with a gorgeous exterior and a very simple remade interior. Well worth a visit if you have the time and not afraid to take a little walk from the bigger more famous art museums in Ueno.
If you are in Tokyo over the holidays and have a little bit of free time, make sure you check out the Mika Ninagawa (蜷川実花) photography exhibition in Omotesando right now. Mika Ninagawa is probably the hottest Japanese photographer right now, and one of my absolute favorites (the other two being Masataka Nakano and Nobuyoshi Araki). Her subjects are basically, color and celebrities, often in a fantastic combination. Her portraits are amazing. There is also a very liberating “who-cares” attitude towards the technical aspect of photography in her work, I can tell that the camera is just a medium for her, very much unlike for example Araki, for which the camera is an obsession.
Usually her exhibitions are in large galleries where you have to pay to enter, so here’s a fantastic chance to see some of her best work for free. It’s also a great opportunity to test your knowledge of contemporary Japanese pop culture. How many geinoujin and their work can you name in the exhibition?
Open until January 23rd. More info and access maps here.