Tokyobling's Blog

The Myth Of Tomorrow – Taro Okamoto

Posted in Places by tokyobling on June 10, 2011

Sometimes the thing about art in public places is that you just don’t think about it. Even though art has long since been stripped of it’s moral-building and society-building status public officials still feel it necessary to enrichen our public spaces with what they consider to be worthwhile art. Here’s one I have managed to miss for a very long time indeed: Taro Okamoto’s “The Myth of Tomorrow” which has been restored and is now hanging in Shibuya’s Mark City just between the JR and the Inoskashira line’s Shibuya Station.

The story behind the painting is interesting as it apparently lay abandoned in a yard somewhere in Mexico for 30 years before being found. The artist himself (naturally) lobbied for it being returned to Japan and given a more fitting exhibition. It supposedly weighs 14 tons and three cities wrestled for control of the painting before it was handed over to Tokyo. I can’t think of many other public spaces in Japan that could really fit something of this size! Next time you’re in Shibuya, it could be worthwhile to go and check it out!

Update [2011/06/13]: Thank you all for your kind and informed comments! Here’s a few facts to answer some of the questions in the comments section:

Okamoto painted this five panel mural (30m x 5.5m) in Mexico City in 1969 as a commision from a hotel entrepeneur. The hotel had financial trouble from the start and the painting went missing. The missing artwork lay exposed in a construction materials yard until 2003 (sources vary on the year) when it was found by the late Okamoto’s wife. The painting depicts the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 and shows the affected peoples’s will and spirit of survival. Acrylic paint on asbestos panels (and one part on concrete, hence the amazing weight). It is widely considered to be his second most accomplished work, or possibly as accomplished as the Osaka monument Taiyonoto.





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142 Responses

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  1. Erik said, on June 10, 2011 at 2:42 am

    Interesting painting indeed. The theme is the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Sort of a “Guernica” of Japan if you will.

    Like

    • tokyobling said, on June 10, 2011 at 4:38 am

      Thanks for the comment Erik and welcome to the blog! Yes indeed, the Guernica of Japan. Have you seen the Guernica (one of many I believe) that they have in Tokyo Ouzo? Black and white if memory serves me right…

      Like

      • Joe Labriola said, on June 12, 2011 at 4:59 am

        Wow, what an interesting take on such a dark event. Dark but beautifully done. I wish NYC had such interesting displays around more!

        Like

        • tokyobling said, on June 15, 2011 at 7:21 am

          Thanks for the comment Joe! I always imagined NYC to have lots of cool public art, but having never been there I might be wrong?

          Like

  2. vishy said, on June 10, 2011 at 3:28 am

    cool, showing us Japan life, thanks..uh then is this story about the painting fake?: http://news.3yen.com/2011-05-02/prophecy-or-put-up-job/

    Like

    • tokyobling said, on June 10, 2011 at 4:40 am

      Hi Vishy and long time no see! Yes, it didn’t take long for the prank artists to step up and claim the hoax. It’s pretty well done though, and I think Okamoto himself would have approved! (^-^)

      Like

  3. Ava Aston's Muckery said, on June 10, 2011 at 3:00 pm

    Thanks for sharing today this.myth about tomorrow. Yes we all need to appreciate art in all forms more rather than take it for granted because then our lives truly would be a blank canvas.

    Blessings,

    Ava
    xox

    Like

    • tokyobling said, on June 15, 2011 at 4:36 am

      Thank you for the kind comment Ava! I appreciate it and agree with it in full. My regards, Tokyobling

      Like

  4. Mikalee Byerman said, on June 10, 2011 at 3:04 pm

    Such stunning pix — I definitely want to visit. I love the fact that the work had been abandoned for 30 years…just adds to the mystique.

    🙂

    Mikalee

    Like

    • tokyobling said, on June 15, 2011 at 4:37 am

      Thank you for the kind words! I hope you get a chance to visit this wonderful city some day soon!

      Like

  5. Nisha Bhakare said, on June 10, 2011 at 3:07 pm

    Hi,

    The painting’s great….And I toatally agree with your thought that ‘art has long since been stripped of it’s moral-building and society-building status’

    I believe you must have enjoyed watching it live!! 🙂

    Like

    • tokyobling said, on June 15, 2011 at 4:42 am

      Hi Nisha and thanks for finding my blog! Yes, it’s always enjoyable to discover “new” things in places that you have long been taking for granted! (^-^)

      Like

  6. Baby Pickel said, on June 10, 2011 at 3:30 pm

    We love this blog!

    We would be open to swapping blog buttons if you would like?

    Like

    • tokyobling said, on June 15, 2011 at 4:45 am

      Thanks Baby Pickel! I am happy to hear that! I am not too technical with these things so I don’t really know how to do blog buttons in WordPress. (^-^;)

      Like

  7. My Camera, My Friend said, on June 10, 2011 at 3:38 pm

    Great story. I’m glad the work of art got to the artist’s home country.

    Like

    • tokyobling said, on June 15, 2011 at 4:47 am

      Thanks! Glad you liked the post (^-^)

      Like

  8. Artist Docs said, on June 10, 2011 at 3:47 pm

    Thanks for sharing this story!
    Was the painting originally a commission for a public space? Given its size, I would assume that it was.

    Like

    • tokyobling said, on June 15, 2011 at 4:49 am

      Thanks for the kind comment Artist Docs! Yes, I added some explanation for this post after you commented so I guess you saw that already. Hope to see you back here!

      Like

  9. chorwin said, on June 10, 2011 at 3:51 pm

    Very nice catch on the mirror reflection! Nice composition.

    Like

    • tokyobling said, on June 15, 2011 at 4:50 am

      Thanks Chorwin! I’m glad you picked up on that one! (^-^)

      Like

  10. Heather said, on June 10, 2011 at 3:58 pm

    That artwork really is amazing. I will be sure to stop by and see it if I am ever in the area. Thank you for encouraging to contemplate art, even in public spaces that are not galleries or exhibits “per se”. That is SO important!

    Like

    • tokyobling said, on June 15, 2011 at 4:51 am

      Thanks Heather! And yes, I agree! I actually prefer public art over gallery art! Love your drawings by the way (Alice)!

      Like

      • Heather said, on June 15, 2011 at 12:08 pm

        Thank you! 😀 I definitely have always loved public art. I hadn’t been able to go to an actual art gallery or art museum until about a year ago, so it was all i really had to look at anyway. There is something that is inspiring about art made by people you don’t know the name of, and you’re squinting around trying to read the signatures. Heehee.

        Sometimes I wonder if I would know the artist of a painting or sculpture or anything really, just by seeing/getting to know them, even if they never signed their work. If art is truly a reflection of the painter, it is just something I have thought about.

        Like

        • tokyobling said, on July 7, 2011 at 5:07 am

          Thank you for the kind and thoughtful comment Heather! And thanks for the great smile on your blog as well… That is some wild make up! (^-^;)

          Like

          • Heather said, on July 7, 2011 at 12:38 pm

            Well, you know, ha ha… scarecrows have great smiles. 🙂 I like to dress in costume from time to time, and that was actually for work. I had to be a scarecrow one evening for the kids and I asked if I could do my make-up to look like a scarecrow too. They said yes. I danced for joy!!

            Like

          • tokyobling said, on July 8, 2011 at 2:35 am

            Well, that is probably the best and the scariest and friendliest (at the same time) scarecrow make up I have ever seen! (^-^)

            Like

  11. thebabelblog said, on June 10, 2011 at 4:00 pm

    Good photos. I’ve always been a fan of public art and I think it can have a subconscience effect on our psyche. Where in Mexico does one hide a 14 ton painting I wonder?

    Like

    • tokyobling said, on June 15, 2011 at 4:58 am

      Thanks! A lot of people would agree with you! Nice writing on your blog BTW! (^-^)

      Like

  12. Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide said, on June 10, 2011 at 4:05 pm

    As amazing as those are, I suppose you don’t really take the time to ponder them in such a place. Great post.

    Like

    • tokyobling said, on June 15, 2011 at 5:00 am

      Thanks Rufus! Your blog makes me very very hungry… (^-^;)

      Like

  13. […] Sometimes the thing about art in public places is that you just don't think about it. Even though art has long since been stripped of it's moral-building and society-building status (Duchamp and his art-antics took care of that back in 1917) public officials still feel it necessary to enrichen our public spaces with what they consider to be worthwhile art. Here's one I have managed to miss for a very long time indeed: Taro Okamoto's "The Myth of … Read More […]

    Like

  14. millie14 said, on June 10, 2011 at 5:13 pm

    I love art. How beautiful.

    Like

    • tokyobling said, on June 15, 2011 at 5:02 am

      Thanks Millie! What happened to your blog by the way?!

      Like

  15. Eva McCane said, on June 10, 2011 at 5:35 pm

    ya know…i’ve seen a lot of great artwork in airports, but you’re right…i never REALLY look. i’m going to make a point to pay closer attention from now on. don’t want to overlook something mind blowing.

    Like

    • tokyobling said, on June 15, 2011 at 5:04 am

      Ah, a jet-set girl? Thanks for the comment! Interesting blog by the way! (^-^)

      Like

  16. notesfromrumbleycottage said, on June 10, 2011 at 5:35 pm

    When art is in a public place it becomes a part of the landscape. But when you hear the backstory, it makes a piece of art even more interesting.

    Like

    • tokyobling said, on June 15, 2011 at 5:04 am

      Couldn’t agree more! Thanks for the comment!

      Like

  17. ournote2self said, on June 10, 2011 at 5:40 pm

    Wow, that’s one heavy piece of art work. Beautiful too!

    Like

    • tokyobling said, on June 15, 2011 at 5:05 am

      Thanks! Yes, hanging it up there must have been quite difficult. Thank God for earthquake safe thick reinforced concrete!

      Like

  18. Jeb Heaney said, on June 10, 2011 at 6:23 pm

    painting looks fabulous !!!
    reminds me of some of the work in Tate modern in London

    thanks for your blog

    Regards

    Jeb Heaney, London, England
    http://www.theitsolution.co.uk/index.php/phone-systems-london.html

    Like

    • tokyobling said, on June 15, 2011 at 5:06 am

      Thanks Jeb! Yes, the Tate Modern is a fantastic gallery. Haven’t been there in years though!

      Like

  19. gaycarboys said, on June 10, 2011 at 6:36 pm

    Really interesting. Thanks for sharing.

    Like

    • tokyobling said, on June 15, 2011 at 5:06 am

      Thanks for the comment! (^-^)

      Like

  20. creativeintrospection said, on June 10, 2011 at 8:06 pm

    Stunning. Thank you for making it more than a visual by sharing the story behind it. Striking. Congratulations on FP

    Like

    • tokyobling said, on June 15, 2011 at 5:07 am

      Thanks for the kind comment! I didn’t know what FP was before I posted this and I am still not sure…! (^-^) Yes, backstories makes everything better!

      Like

  21. roch8104 said, on June 10, 2011 at 9:44 pm

    Nice!!!

    Like

    • tokyobling said, on June 15, 2011 at 5:11 am

      Thanks! I wish I had studied Spanish harder back in High School…!

      Like

  22. Lacho Trotamundos said, on June 10, 2011 at 9:45 pm

    Nice!

    Like

  23. Howlin' said, on June 10, 2011 at 10:52 pm

    My family and I are big fans of Taro Okamoto, so this centenary year has been really interesting with the major exhibition in Tokyo and the TV drama and documentaries. We’ve recently visited the museum at his former home in Omote-sando and the gallery in Kawasaki, but strangely we’ve never seen ‘The Myth of Tomorrow’ despite often passing through Shibuya. If the rain stops this weekend, we may try to take a look as part of our attempt to visit every one of his public works of art.

    Like

    • tokyobling said, on June 15, 2011 at 5:22 am

      Howlin’, thanks for stopping by and thanks for the comment! I love your WEIRD blog and the hilarious stories you post. And that twitter account for your son? It’s genius. Keep it coming!

      Check this one out everyone:
      http://twitter.com/thingsmysonsaid

      Like

  24. Stef said, on June 11, 2011 at 12:21 am

    Funny – public art is what my blog post from today was about, too! http://smilekiddo.wordpress.com/2011/06/10/library-art/

    Like

    • tokyobling said, on June 15, 2011 at 5:27 am

      Thanks! Yes, I checked it out! (^-^)

      Like

  25. azeweht said, on June 11, 2011 at 2:35 am

    The cool way to promote arts. =)

    Like

    • tokyobling said, on June 15, 2011 at 5:28 am

      Haha… by making it as big as possible, losing it, finding it and the showing it after 30 years? (^-^)

      Like

  26. lilmisswonderland said, on June 11, 2011 at 2:41 am

    You make a very good point here. I can’t wait to return to Shibuya so I can take a better look at that for myself. And on that note, thank you for the gorgeous photos.

    Like

    • tokyobling said, on June 15, 2011 at 5:38 am

      Thanks Lilmisswonderland! I hope you can be back here ASAP! Shibuya is as great as ever and the painting waits for you! (^-^)

      Like

  27. eva626 said, on June 11, 2011 at 3:35 am

    this is so cool..i just enjoy art anywhere..even in the subway stations in nyc

    Like

    • tokyobling said, on June 15, 2011 at 5:37 am

      Thanks Eva! Love your blog by the way!

      Like

  28. Thought Alive said, on June 11, 2011 at 3:35 am

    So, the tomorrow of yesterday is here today? Whither next?

    Like

    • tokyobling said, on June 15, 2011 at 5:40 am

      “Apres moi le deluge”!

      Love your tweets btw.

      Like

  29. lisamc00 said, on June 11, 2011 at 4:37 am

    Fabulous! I’ve never had opportunity to go there, so thank you for the picture of an interesting and beautiful work! Great story as well. Must be quite impressive in person.

    Like

    • tokyobling said, on June 15, 2011 at 5:40 am

      Thanks Lisa! I appreciate your comment! Hurry on over here!

      Like

  30. vishalt said, on June 11, 2011 at 5:06 am

    i dont like it when artists dont get their dues and respect, as in this case, after 30 long years..but good paintings and great post..!! keep it up.

    Like

    • tokyobling said, on June 15, 2011 at 5:42 am

      Thanks for the kind comment! Lovely photos by the way!

      Like

  31. sukesan kanka said, on June 11, 2011 at 6:30 am

    nice works pls go through my blog http://www.sukesankanka.wordpress.com
    thanks

    Like

    • tokyobling said, on June 15, 2011 at 5:46 am

      Thanks! Is that all really your art?! It’s fantastic! What a body of work!

      Like

  32. nasserhussain said, on June 11, 2011 at 7:49 am

    You wrote “art has long since been stripped of it’s moral-building and society-building status (Duchamp and his art-antics took care of that back in 1917)”

    But wouldn’t it be equally true to say that Duchamp re-charged art (I’m thinking of works like “Bicycle Wheel” and especially “Fountain”): didn’t bringing art into the everyday demonstrate that things like “Society” and “Morality” are *our* responsibility, and not left to the hands of a single person – artist, politician, king, or whatever? And wasn’t Duchamp’s final triumph to prove that art IS the public space, and that the objects we are surrounded by every moment are beautiful? It just feels like the readymade sculpture is precisely about considering how art works in public (in this case the museum, but it’s equally applicable to a number of other spaces, like, say, a train station) – you engage in this kind of awareness yourself, i think…with your beautifully composed shot of the humble sign for the exhibit itself at the end of this post.

    Not entirely sure why i felt the need to launch a defense of Duchamp, but there it is. I *do* like the painting, though.

    Like

    • tokyobling said, on June 15, 2011 at 5:52 am

      You raise a lot of valid points and this is all extremely interesting fodder for a fantastic discussion about the nature of art and the role of art in society. Some scholars argue that Duchamp killed art, while others (like you) argue that he reinvented it, “The King is Dead, Long Live the King!”. So is art a Zombie or a Saviour? And how do we correctly use/value art in our modern societies? All interesting topics. I was an early follower of Hakim Bey’s revolutionary art criticism so I have yet to come round to your camp but if we make that camp a great roaring bonfire some songs and snacks, I’m sure it would be a great philosophical debate. At least.

      And thanks for the kind comment about the photos. Didn’t think about it in that way, but now that I read your comment I realize that the tiny humble sign gave me as much joy as the painting itself!

      Like

  33. abhishek said, on June 11, 2011 at 9:07 am

    lovely display of art at public place. It is very captivating.

    Like

  34. zookyshirts said, on June 11, 2011 at 10:13 am

    What an amazing painting — I’m blown away when seeing a painting that size, to wonder about the patience and focus of the artist to create a work of art that big. It’s too bad the painting was abandoned for 30 years when it could’ve been out in public and seen — and had the chance to be ignored by some, but admired by others. Thanks for the photos and background for this painting.

    Like

    • tokyobling said, on June 15, 2011 at 6:01 am

      Thanks for the kind comment Zooky! (^-^)

      Like

  35. Consuelo said, on June 11, 2011 at 12:49 pm

    awesome! 🙂

    Like

  36. Art in Geelong said, on June 11, 2011 at 12:50 pm

    I have never been to Japan so thanks for sharing the story and the great photos – I feel like I have been there with your post!
    And it is good to see an artist’s work honoured with a restoration and a prominent display. It seems to fit the space perfectly.

    Like

    • tokyobling said, on June 15, 2011 at 6:02 am

      Thanks for the kind comment! Love your blog by the way, so much great art to see!

      Like

  37. maikaefer said, on June 11, 2011 at 1:07 pm

    love artwork of Taro Okamoto

    Like

    • tokyobling said, on June 15, 2011 at 6:01 am

      Thanks! He’s everywhere in Japan but I hadn’t really thought about his work before I saw this!

      Like

  38. Marija sKeri said, on June 11, 2011 at 2:56 pm

    Love it!! Great entries!! xoxo

    Like

    • tokyobling said, on June 15, 2011 at 6:07 am

      Thanks Marija! Love your blog too. Hope you write more about Serbia and politics/society!

      Like

  39. londonchoirgirl said, on June 11, 2011 at 3:35 pm

    Public art can sometimes feel a bit problematic, as it’s usually commissioned by the state or establishment, when that’s the very thing that art often sets out to criticise. The painting is great, though. Thanks for sharing it.

    Like

    • tokyobling said, on June 15, 2011 at 6:14 am

      My thoughts exactly. For example the paiting of Guernica in the UN HQ in NY? They have to cover it up every time they give a press conference about bombing some country or city. Thanks for the kind words!

      Like

  40. Khanum said, on June 11, 2011 at 3:40 pm

    wow huge thing

    Like

    • tokyobling said, on June 15, 2011 at 6:16 am

      Even bigger in reality! (^-^)

      Like

  41. Still Dreamy said, on June 11, 2011 at 3:52 pm

    WOW!! the painting is so big, from the looks of it you can say that the artist put a lot of work in it. To me i think its inspiring just by looking at it 😀
    thanks for sharing it 🙂

    Like

    • tokyobling said, on June 15, 2011 at 6:17 am

      Thanks! Yes, seeing the hard work of others is initself humbling, especially so in the form of art!

      Like

  42. shamiparyah said, on June 11, 2011 at 4:02 pm

    Thanks for sharing. The pieces are stunning!

    Like

    • tokyobling said, on June 15, 2011 at 6:18 am

      Thanks Shamiparyah! (^-^)

      Like

  43. rawemotionalwriter said, on June 11, 2011 at 4:52 pm

    I wonder what was it doing in Mexico and why would a person abandon such a beautiful painting? Also do you know why the name is “Myth of tomorrow?

    Like

    • tokyobling said, on June 15, 2011 at 6:37 am

      Thanks for the comment! After your comment I added more information to the post. Hopefully that will clarify things a little. Hope to see you back here soon!!

      Like

      • rawemotionalwriter said, on June 15, 2011 at 8:53 pm

        It has thanks. I love art especially one that has a story to it. Thank you for the updates. I just subscribe:)

        Like

        • tokyobling said, on July 7, 2011 at 5:13 am

          Thanks for subscribing! Did you join that fridge project? (^-^)

          Like

  44. visartstudio said, on June 11, 2011 at 8:20 pm

    Voice Pictures Ltd. & Visual Arts Studio Canada- International
    6081 OLD WEST SAANICH ROAD, VICTORIA, BRITISH COLUMBIA, CANADA V9E 2G9
    http:// johnorser.worldpress.com – http://visartstudio.wordpress.com
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    Visual Art Studios – Voice Pictures Ltd – Luce Canon Publishing – Integrated Companies 2010
    John Orser Canada cell: 508- 3363, cell: Thailand 66-895272040, cell Nepal 9808512936 e mail johnorser@hotmail.com

    As an artist and film maker with a number of years working on public art projects I can make an observation about public art that I think is relevant to this discussion…
    Public Art as it is largely conceptualized as a public event and object, acquires a social history in the site, or defines a site as a significant public space… This is not a passive exercise but a dynamic one that has a whole number of culture interlinks tied to an existing social narrative
    that is relevant to people in which they recognize some familiarity with the subject as reflecting there internal reality…
    Much of today’s “public art” is nothing more than fancy door knobs and derivative design that speaks to a commercial reality rather than a citizen reality…
    Public Art is political in its deployment.
    Richard Serra Tilted Arc was proof of the point when it was removed in 1989, while the Vietnam war memorial has acquired a significance and has become much loved and holding much social and personal significance…
    Other works that have become significant have done so by digging into our psychological reality and insinuating it self by a process of educating the imagination.

    Case in point The Archer by Henry Moore in Toronto Nathan Phillips square was supported by the extensive collection of Moore donation to the AGO… More significantly a pop song
    Down By The Henry Moore – Murray McLauchlan (1974) summed up Toronto’s relationship to this now significant piece of art. So much so when it alleged removal was used in the first day with out art protest, the controversy drew near 100,000 people into Nathan Phillips square. Digging a bit deeper the art fit the square and became a cultural anchor that suited the site and the Toronto’s city Hall building and has become a bench mark of how Torontonians felt about there city, there future and themselves… I dare say that nothing as monumentally significant could be achieved in Toronto today… but that has largely to do with the lack of an educated imagination at the civic level about art and about arts role in society.

    Isamu Noguchi: when the great works of public art were created in the post war years, artist such as Isamu Noguchi could influence the design of the site and the building as a integrated artistic event insuring a significance for the art, the site, the building in the lives of the citizenry as an event of the educated imagination as a public art event. No such lin·gua fran·ca/
    exists at the public level today in our shrinking society and denuded public space.

    The post war years defined the future and it was a return to a humanism and faith in ourselves that brought about such things as the declaration of human rights and peace keeping by the likes of Canadian Maurice Strong and Lester Pearson … The Guernica by Pablo Picasso. It was created in response to the bombing of Guernica and Arts today is as deaf to the public as the public is as deaf to its Fine arts as our imaginations are not educated or informed about the reality in which we live…the age of commercial propaganda of dictatorship…and propaganda art is out there selling us on the message.

    Like

  45. Bill Chance said, on June 11, 2011 at 9:07 pm

    Great story and fantastic pictures. It’s amazing how much wonderful public art most people walk past every day and don’t even notice.

    Like

    • tokyobling said, on June 15, 2011 at 6:47 am

      Thanks for the kind comment Bill! Love your writing by the way. I just read most of your blog… (^-^)

      Like

  46. gailcreativestudies said, on June 11, 2011 at 10:32 pm

    What a huge great work of active colorful art! wonderful to see it. All those people bustling by it and nobody looking up.

    Like

    • tokyobling said, on June 15, 2011 at 6:50 am

      People have a tendency to be quite oblivious to their surroundings, and maybe Japanese people even more so! Love your blog by the way!

      Like

  47. blackwatertown said, on June 11, 2011 at 11:23 pm

    Lovely pictures.
    Public art sometimes throws up some odd scenarios – like the Dog Wee Art Wipe Man http://wp.me/pDjed-OQ

    Like

    • tokyobling said, on June 15, 2011 at 6:57 am

      Thank you for the comment and thank you for the link! I didn’t excpect it to be quite like that… but still, a good read. It sounds like he had a great job.

      Like

  48. Jeanette Joy Harris said, on June 11, 2011 at 11:36 pm

    So glad you posted this and with enough pictures that I could really get a feel for the scale of work. I think that oftentimes we are so worried about preserving public art that we forget about what we already have and perhaps how we could better interact with it. Thanks for this!

    Like

    • tokyobling said, on June 15, 2011 at 6:58 am

      Thanks Jeanette! Hope to have you back here on Tokyobling soon! (^-^)

      Like

  49. asrai7 said, on June 12, 2011 at 1:51 am

    Interesting story behind such a massive art piece 🙂

    Like

    • tokyobling said, on June 15, 2011 at 7:01 am

      Thanks Asrai7 and long time no see! (^-^)

      Like

  50. offthefrontporch said, on June 12, 2011 at 1:53 am

    Ack! Your post makes me feel guilty (in a good way) that I haven’t fully appreciated public space art in my city. I need to take a walking tour now with some fresh eyes!

    Like

    • tokyobling said, on June 15, 2011 at 7:06 am

      Your blog is beautiful. But even more so, you have a great looking bicycle! Good choice in color, too. We all know that red goes faster. A lot faster.

      A walking tour is probably better than a bicycling tour. I agree. Especially since I share your riding a bike except the riding it part – skills. Have fun and thanks for the comment!

      Like

  51. amblerangel said, on June 12, 2011 at 3:02 am

    Of course great pics- as usual- and good to see the recognition of the FP! Congrats!

    Like

    • tokyobling said, on June 15, 2011 at 7:07 am

      Thanks Ambler! I am still not sure what FP means except for a doubling or tripling of viewers numbers and a tenfold increase in comments! (^O^) A great way to meet new blogger friends, at least! (^-^)

      Like

  52. mkeeffer said, on June 12, 2011 at 4:50 am

    Exceptional – more please! Congrats on being FPed!

    Like

    • tokyobling said, on June 15, 2011 at 7:14 am

      Thank you for the kind comment! And that’s quite an interesting blog you have!

      Like

  53. Marcia said, on June 12, 2011 at 4:51 pm

    Thanks for this. The mural is both beautiful and ugly at the same time, given its subject matter.

    Like

    • tokyobling said, on June 15, 2011 at 7:23 am

      Thank you for the kind comment Marcia!

      Like

  54. mcsnitches said, on June 12, 2011 at 5:13 pm

    Magnificent photos, truly amazing 🙂

    Like

    • tokyobling said, on June 15, 2011 at 7:44 am

      Thank you for the kind comment! (^-^)

      Like

  55. […] Sometimes the thing about art in public places is that you just don't think about it. Even though art has long since been stripped of it's moral-building and society-building status (Duchamp and his art-antics took care of that back in 1917) public officials still feel it necessary to enrichen our public spaces with what they consider to be worthwhile art. Here's one I have managed to miss for a very long time indeed: Taro Okamoto's "The Myth of … Read More […]

    Like

  56. saigon said, on June 12, 2011 at 8:00 pm

    the place fits the picture and vice versa.
    such wonderful mosaics and longer pictures can mostly be seen in undergrund tunnels, where there is more space for displaying art

    Like

    • tokyobling said, on June 15, 2011 at 7:45 am

      Indeed! Thanks for the comment Saigon!

      Like

  57. Mr. Freelance said, on June 12, 2011 at 8:25 pm

    Beautiful! Art in public spaces is highly and often criticized, but I always wonder what the same people would say if they walked through any odd city in the world and it was plain grey, dull concrete and glass. Would they still criticize the contemporary art that enriches our cities and town? Doubt it.

    Like

    • tokyobling said, on June 15, 2011 at 7:56 am

      Thank you for the comment Mr. Freelance! Indeed I sometimes long for such a thing as plain grey dull concrete and glass unadorned by commercial messages, billboards and signs! (^-^)

      Like

  58. Abby said, on June 12, 2011 at 8:54 pm

    This is a pretty striking painting!

    Like

    • tokyobling said, on June 15, 2011 at 7:59 am

      Thanks for the comment Abby! It sure is. As someone mentioned early, the Guernica of Japan!

      Like

  59. J Roycroft said, on June 12, 2011 at 9:53 pm

    Here at the Hartsfield Atlanta airport, there was a so called “artist” who had this large piece of painted canvas hanging on a wall. It was his donated art work valued by him in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. One night, a crew came in to paint the walls where this piece of art was hanging. They took it down and set it aside so that they could paint. The next day, the cleaning crew took the piece of canvas and tossed it into the dumpster. They thought it was left over trash from the painters. I had seen this art several times in passing through the terminal. The dumpster was a much better place for it’s display.

    Like

    • tokyobling said, on June 15, 2011 at 8:04 am

      Thanks for the great comment J! That is a funny story. I think the same thing has happened many times before in art history…!

      Like

  60. defuturist said, on June 12, 2011 at 11:08 pm

    Art has been around in “public spaces” since ancient time. Art is culture and Culture is food for toughs. From large cities to small villages Art around the Globe showing the expression of Society Evolutionary Journey

    Like

    • tokyobling said, on June 15, 2011 at 8:04 am

      Yes, art is in our genes!

      Like

  61. sketchjay said, on June 13, 2011 at 4:06 am

    Art should be available for all to see. Thanks so much for sharing this work from Japan. I hope to visit sometime in the future. New York has some wonderful art in public spaces – some of the newest and most accessible is below ground in the subway system. Congratulations on being freshly pressed!

    Like

    • tokyobling said, on June 15, 2011 at 8:06 am

      Thanks for the kind comment Sketchjay! I would love to see all that NYC art some day!

      Like

  62. chocolatespacemonkey said, on June 13, 2011 at 5:44 am

    the curse of the mona lisa

    Like

    • tokyobling said, on June 15, 2011 at 8:06 am

      Not sure what you mean…? (^-^;)

      Like

  63. dianespeaks said, on June 13, 2011 at 6:12 am

    Congratulations for making it the freshly pressed! Your accomplishment is like every wordpress blogger dreams.

    I am not really into history and blog posts like this helps me learn and appreciate better arts and history. The painting has indeed a wonderful story. If only the painting could speak, it will relate more untold stories.

    The effort of the government to restore and claim the painting for me is a good cause. Not only the government was able to reclaim history, it also gave the future generation the opportunity to learn and appreciate arts and history.

    Like

    • tokyobling said, on June 15, 2011 at 8:08 am

      Thanks Diane! I don’t know about this FP thing but it boosted my visitor statistics 2-3 times for a couple of days! I’m always glad people enjoy what I blog. (^-^) BTW, what happened to your blog?

      Like

  64. williamw60640 said, on June 13, 2011 at 8:53 am

    Thanks for your post, and congrats on being freshly pressed. My grandfather, a WWII veteran who was stationed in Japan shortly after the bombings, told me stories of the powerfully resilient Japanese population. I hope mankind will never again promulgate such devastation upon itself as what occurred with the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. War will never make sense.

    Like

    • tokyobling said, on June 15, 2011 at 8:11 am

      Thank you for the kind words William! You’re lucky to have had a grand father who lived through such an important point in human history. He must have had many great stories!

      Like

  65. […] LINK: The Myth of Tomorrow this photo found using google image search. I did not take this photo! […]

    Like

  66. Muzzy Daud said, on June 13, 2011 at 11:45 am

    Lovely pictures! Truly inspirational

    By the way, I have a new post up about deserving more credit, I would love any thoughts and comments to give me something to work on.

    http://muzzydaudonsports.wordpress.com/2011/06/13/you-deserve-more-credit/

    Thanks,

    Muzzy

    Like

    • tokyobling said, on June 15, 2011 at 8:18 am

      Thank’s Muzzy! I’ll check your blog out! (^-^)

      Like

  67. Yoko said, on June 13, 2011 at 12:13 pm

    great shots

    Like

    • tokyobling said, on June 15, 2011 at 8:17 am

      Thanks Yoko! (^-^)

      Like

  68. trialsinfood said, on June 14, 2011 at 2:08 pm

    great work of art!

    Like

  69. […] This wonderful blog seems to have provoked a lot of interest. Sometimes the thing about art in public places is that you just don’t think about it. Even though art has long since been stripped of it’s moral-building and society-building status (Duchamp and his art-antics took care of that back in 1917) public officials still feel it necessary to enrichen our public spaces with what they consider to be worthwhile art. Here’s one I have managed to miss for a very long time indeed: Taro Okamoto’s “The Myth of … Read More […]

    Like

  70. penman said, on March 20, 2012 at 8:50 pm

    What a mural. It’s amazing and colorful but better yet what a shots! Was it hard to take a big mural photos? But Tokyobling is the greatest 🙂 Thanks for sharing great photos with us.

    Like

    • tokyobling said, on April 3, 2012 at 9:22 am

      Haha… thank you so much Penman! It’s ok to take these photos if you have a properly wide lens for you camera! I think I used a 17mm on these photos. (^-^)

      Like


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