It is the end of February again and the single most interesting Japanese art event is taking place – the graduation exhibition of the top 5 art universities in Tokyo. Like every year there is a huge range of works in all manners of genre, and just like every year there are a few young artists that really stand out. The first work that caught my eye as I entered was Parabola by Kouta Omoto (大本幸大) of Musashino Art University (武蔵野美術大学). A huge oil painting of something we see every day here in Tokyo, the tangled masses of electric wiring over our heads, although usually not as sinister as this.
Entrance is free and the show is taking place a couple of days into March, at the National Art Center in Roppongi. If you are in any way into art then this is a must see.
This years Japan Media Arts Festival takes place between the 16th and the 24th of February, centered on the National Art Center in Tokyo’s Roppongi district it’s is a must see for anyone interested in audio visual art, multimedia, high technology, manga and animation. I wish I could have gone to all the screenings of the many movies that were given awards this year, some of them looks very promising. If you have time, I really recommend this art show, free entrance and loads of fun and cutting edge technology merged with a typically playful Japanese sense of art! The English information site is here, unfortunately not as detailed as you’d wish, but with a bit of Google-fu and cut and paste you should be able to find more of anything you are particularly interested in! Most of the art presented is Japanese but there is a fair bit of shows from other countries as well, all excellent. This year’s festival is one of the best I have seen so far.
Yesterday was an amazingly hot and sunny day, 18C/64F warm, a light breeze and blazing sun, almost like April already in February! Today is cooler again but for one brief day we could forget about the winter. Tokyo outdoor eateries and cafes were packed, especially here in Roppongi where I spent the day. Tokyo’s prettiest tower, the Tokyo Tower, looked fine!
Christmas in Japan is like Christmas in many other countries, more about by consumerism than any tradition or even religion. Families usually spend Christmas together (after work of course) with a cake and some grilled chicken, while young adults or those unattached prefer to spend Christmas eve with their sweethearts. To lure this attraction seeking young crowd many shopping centers put on light displays and events, the most popular of which are so crowded that people have to cue up to get in. There was supposed to be a huge light display at Tokyo station but when the managers understood the huge numbers of people who were likely to show up the event was actually cancelled! I happened to walk through Tokyo Midtown in the Roppongi district on Christmas eve and saw these christmas decorations. While the decorations inside the big commercial center was focused on abstract shapes there were some cute hand decorated snowmen!