A couple of months ago I visited the National Art Center in Roppongi for the annual combined art university graduation exhibit. Here are a few of the paintings that I liked, and that are fairly representative of the show. The show throws together five of the biggest art universities in and around Tokyo for a grand show with all the their graduating students of that year. From the first to the last, the artists behind these paintings are Yuka Machida, Hana Furusho, Yu Yasuhara, Chie Nakagami, Misa Hashiguchi and Ayako Miki. Well, technically one of these is graphic art rather than painting, but I add it anyway. Call me a stuffy old fashioned guy, but I think I liked the last one, Susuki no hara, best. The styles exhibited covers almost all of art history, from almost iconic religion themed paintings to the strangest post-modernism.
This year (as every year) I attended the annual Godai Art University Graduation show at the National Art Center in Tokyo’s Roppongi district. It was full of good stuff as usual and a real treat: nowhere can you get so much contemporary Japanese art as in this exhibition, for such little cost (it is free). I particularly enjoyed one sculpture, “Inisible” by Hifumi Sugata of Joshibi, a sinister looking metal sculpture. This year’s exhibition is over but there is a new on in February – early March next year! Be sure to see it!
I saw this mixed media artwork at the National Art Center’s art university graduation ceremony a couple of weeks ago. The artist, Atsushi Adachi of Zokei University (足立篤史), has created a miniature diorama dream world, complete with train tracks, tunnels, light houses, zeppelins and hangars for airplanes. I love these kind of miniature worlds, like the art of Ichiyo Haga (here and here), the Housing Estate N by Area N, the Papercraft castle, even the diorama hat by O.Moro Design! Another great artist this reminds me of is Takanori Aiba’s miniature cities. Yes, I have a very soft spot for dioramas and miniatures!
If you want to see more of Mr. Adachi’s work you have plenty of chances this spring and summer as he is pretty much exhibiting all through the year. The closest one is at the Tabloid Gallery in Tokyo’s Hinode, March 20th to March 23rd, and then at the Ouchi Gallery in New York’s Brooklyn, first in the end of April early May and then again in June.
It is that time of the year again, the joint graduation exhibition of five largest art universities in Tokyo: Joshibi, Zokei, Gakugei, Musabi and Tamabi (to use their popular nicknames). The sculpture section, which is always my favorite was a little weak this year but a few really good works of art made up for it all. My favorite from this year might be the Sorauma, a horse sculpture in metal and plastic expertly constructed by Kuroudo Tsuji (辻蔵人) from the Musashino Art University (武蔵野美術大学), which looked fantastic against the blue skies over the National Art Center in Tokyo’s Roppongi district. Don’t miss Mr Tsuji’s fantastic undergraduate graduation exhibit two years earlier, the scrap metal fossil that I blogged about here.
If you are in Tokyo, today is your last chance to see this massive exhibition of almost a thousand young artists displaying their best. The entrance is free and nobody minds if you take photos. This is probably the foremost art event in Tokyo!