A couple of weeks ago Marunouchi was invaded by dinosaurs from Fukui prefecture on the north coast of Japan. Japanese kids, like kids everywhere I guess, have a serious love for dinosaurs, and they’re also lucky in that Japan is a good place to go fossil hunting. Three complete skeletons (casts) were on display as well as a few other interesting animated dinosaurs and educational videos and even life sized dinosaur scientists that were a great hit with the kids! First of we had the carnivorous 12m long Acrocanthosaurus atokensis from Oklahoma USA, and a Pteranodon longiceps with a wing span of 7m was hung in the ceiling. The Japan native Fukuisaurus tetoriensis, a herbivore Iguanadontian. Seeing these exhibitions in Marunouchi Building and the nearby Oazu Building really brought back memories from when I was dinosaur crazy kid myself! I think a trip to Fukui prefecture really must be arranged some time soon.
One of the great bonuses of living in a huge city like Tokyo is that there is always so much going on in terms of art and performances. Most of the major shopping and office buildings in central Tokyo use art as a way to attract more people and bring life to the otherwise rather sterile large skyscrapers of glass and steel. Last summer I saw these fantastic wooden statues at Marunouchi Building, by Tsuneyoshi Nakamura (中村恒克). They are called Hikiwake and Kakitsubata. Japanese sculptors have this amazing talent for carving wonderful works of art from wood! I think the future of modern art will be much more interesting for Japanese art-lovers. Up until now Japanese modern art have been largely ignored by the mainstream art critics around the world, but if even a mere fraction of all the talent we see coming out of Japan’s many excellent art universities make it big, it would be a fantastic boom for Japanese art! I think Mr Nakamura will be one of the successful ones.
Here’s an art installation by up and coming artist Yuki Hata, called Atokata, or traces, in English. I imagine it shows the faded traces of a family, but I wouldn’t know for sure. Mr Hata is a recent graduate of the famous Tokyo University of Arts, 東京藝術大学. There is a rather nice animation done about this piece on Youtube.
The name of this work of art, a moving, lit installation in lacquer, paper and cypress wood is called 夕日に架かる街 in Japanese, which although is pretty straightforward has my stumped as for a good translation in English. A Town Bridged By the Setting Sun? I really don’t know how to say it in English. This is the latest work by the young super nova of Japanese art, Wataru Itou (伊藤 航), whom you might remember from the glorious paper castle I posted a couple of years ago. This one was exhibited in Tokyo’s Marunouchi Building a couple of months ago. Of course the rope way car is moving! I’m looking forward to following his career!