An axis for artistic and creative-types of the Asian persuasian… Redefining Otaku Culture.

Asia Society art exhibition: “Kamakura: Realism and Spirituality in the Sculpture of Japan”

Nyoirin Kannon. Kamakura period, early 14th century. Japanese cypress (hinoki) with pigment, gold powder, and cut gold leaf (kirikane). H. 19 1/2 x W. 15 x D. 12 in. (49.5 x 38.1 x 30.5 cm). Asia Society, New York: Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection
Asia Society/Wall Street Journal:

Last week, the Wall Street Journal featured Asia Society‘s upcoming Kamakura: Realism and Spirituality in the Sculpture of Japan exhibition as one of several ways to “travel the world” and absorb international culture without ever leaving New York:

This exhibition links artistic style to spiritual practice. As religious trends of the time brought worshipers closer to their deities, sculptors pursued innovations in woodwork, carving expressive, humanlike forms that were intended to “come alive” during public ritual and private devotion. The show features a stellar lineup of figures, mostly carved in cypress and adorned with gilding and lacquer. Look for the miniature Buddha figures and sutra text, fascinating examples of tiny items that artists left embedded in hollow spaces to empower their figures from within.

The Kamakura exhibition begins on February 9 and goes through May 8.

Click here for more information about the exhibit.

Exhibit in Kyoto features collaboration of anime and 400-year-old Rinpa school of painting

 

sub1 のコピー

RocketNews 24 (by Kay):

This is what happens when you combine centuries-old traditional Japanese painting with modern anime, and we love it!

If you’re interested in traditional Japanese art, you may be familiar with the Rinpa school of painting, which has a history that can be traced all the way back to the 17th century. It so happens that this year marks the 400th anniversary since one of the school’s founders, Hon’ami Kōetsu, established an artistic community (geijutsumura) in the Takagamine area of Kyoto, and an exciting commemorative event titled the “Rinpa x Anime Homage Exhibit” is now going on in the very same city of Kyoto, courtesy of brilliant artwork produced by the anime/comic merchandise retailer CHARA-ANI.

But before we go on, here’s a little bit more background on Rinpa art. The Rinpa school, which has a heavy emphasis on painting but also includes other crafts such as ceramics and lacquerware as well as calligraphy, is thought to have been founded by Hon’ami Kōetsu and Tawaraya Sōtatsu around the early 17th century and later consolidated in the latter half of the century by the prominent artist brothers  Ogata Kōrin and Ogata Kenzan. The name Rinpa is actually a combination of the last syllable of Kōrin’s name and the word “pa” for school.

The school’s art style is known for its bold design compositions, use of silver and gold leaf in the background, and repeated use of recognizable patterns. While natural scenes including flowers and trees are often depicted, animals and people from folktales are also common subjects, like the deities depicted in the famous ”Wind and Thunder Gods” folding screens (Fūjin Raijin-zu) by Sōtatsu.

▼ The magnificent Wind and Thunder Gods folding screen by Sōtatsu:

Fujin

So, taking all of that into consideration, we think you’ll understand why we might be excited by the idea of a collaboration between anime and the Rinpa school, which has a history of producing such notable works of art. And what’s attracting particular attention in this “Rinpa x Anime Homage Exhibit” are the works featuring the long-loved characters created by the manga master Osamu Tezuka himself!

The glittering gold and silver, along with the texture of Japanese paper, have turned Tezuka’s characters into breathtaking, timeless works of art.

▼ Here’s Tezuka’s phoenix (Hi no Tori), a perfect subject for Rinpa-style art, depicted in brilliant gold.

sub4

sub1

▼ The father and son lion duo from Kimba the White Lion (Jungle Taitei) looks full of life in this piece.

sub2

sub3
In addition to the collaboration with Tezuka anime, you’ll also be able to see on display Rinpa-style art featuring the busy-as-ever Hello Kitty, as well as characters from Lucky Star (Raki☆Suta).

The best part is that you can actually order and purchase some of these illustrations at the exhibit, and they apparently have some stationery and smartphone accessories on sale as well.

The Rinpa x Anime Homage Exhibit will run at the Kyoto Loft department store in the Mina Kyoto shopping complex until January 17, 2016 (except for January 1, when Mina Kyoto will be closed). It could be a fun destination for art and anime fans who are in Kyoto for the new year!

Source: CHARA-ANI websitePR TIMES press release

‘Giant Robot Biennale 4’ to showcase Asian pop culture at the Japanese American National Museum (Los Angeles)

Many people complain about something lacking from their lives, but few actually do anything about it. Eric Nakamura is different. He has not only filled that gap, he has created a new movement.

Nakamura is the creator of Giant Robot, now a store with a sister gallery in Los Angeles, which spurred an ever-growing interest in Asian and Asian American pop culture. He is also the curator of the exhibit, “Giant Robot Biennale 4,” set to open Oct. 11 at the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles. Giant Robot began as a ‘zine, covering Nakamura’s interests, such as live action robot shows, kung fu films, imported toys and international foods.

I grew up with a mix of both cultures (American and Asian) and I didn’t see a publication out there that documented that kind of hybrid,” Nakamura said.

After being deluged by readers asking if they could visit the Giant Robot office to see the products advertised in the ‘zine, Nakamura decided to open a store. Then he took his hybrid idea a step further by also using the space to exhibit art.

Today, some 21 years and a plethora of copycat store/galleries later, Nakamura still shrugs the notion of success. However, he credits Giant Robot’s longevity to his devotion to fairness and honesty.

The culture of Giant Robot is an artist family experience, which is different. We do things contrary to how a gallery would do things,” Nakamura said.

The exhibit, which runs through Jan. 24, is the fourth time Giant Robot and JANM have united for an art exhibit.

Asian and Asian American pop art has exploded in popularity,” said JANM president and CEO Greg Kimura. “Giant Robot really is the premiere example of that. It’s bringing some of these known and some of these rising artists to the public consciousness and, because of that, JANM is becoming known as a place where folks can come to discover very interesting and frequently provocative contemporary art.

Nakamura has divided “Giant Robot Biennale 4” inside JANM, devoting the ground floor to drawings, including comics, ‘zines and sketchbooks, and showing art from a range of disciplines upstairs.

Two large murals by Andrew Hem and kozyndan will also be featured in the exhibit, as well as work by artists, such as James Jean, Jim Lee, Kim Jung Gi, Katsuya Terada, Luke Chueh, Audrey KawasakiNathan Ota, Mu Pan and Yoskay Yamamoto.

In addition, there will be a photography installation from Hamburger Eyes.

Nakamura finds it hard to name a favorite artist, but he admits that he roots for “the underdogs who are working extra hard.” An example of this is Yumi Sakugawa, whose work can be seen in ‘zines and comics. There will be a video installation featuring a ‘zine reading by Sakugawa.

Kimura is also a big fan of Edwin Ushiro, citing the artist as “someone to watch.”

He’s huge right now, but he’s growing even bigger as a national and international artist,” Kimura added.

There will be a replica of Ushiro’s studio on site in which visitors will be invited to draw.

Kimura also likes Rob Sato’s technical ability and admires the shocking imagery of Mari Inukai, stating that the artists makes you feel differently about the world around you, as well as art itself.

“I like to think that Giant Robot has established a culture of some sort that maybe changed the landscape a little bit of what art is and then what a shop is like and what culture can be,” Nakamura said. “These are things that I grew up with that were separate and we unified and turned it into a package of some sort.

Want to go?

When: 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday-Sunday and noon-8 p.m. Thursday from Oct. 11-Jan. 24. Free opening celebration 7-10 p.m.

Where: Japanese American National Museum, 100 N. Central Ave., Los Angeles.

Tickets: $9 adults, $5 seniors and children 6-17 and free for children 5 and younger.

Information: 213-625-0414, www.janm.org

Also, check out the Giant Robot Store!

Giant Robot Store

Hours: 11:30 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Saturday and noon-7 p.m. Sunday.

Where: 2015 Sawtelle Blvd., Los Angeles.

Information: 310-478-1819, www.giantrobot.com

GR2 Gallery

Hours: Noon-6 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, noon-8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, noon-7 p.m. Sunday.

Where: 2062 Sawtelle Blvd., Los Angeles.

Information: 424-246-7626, www.giantrobot.com

“Welcome Home” by Esao Andrews will be on exhibit in “Giant Robot Biennale 4” at the Japanese American Naitonal Museum in Los Angeles Oct. 11-Jan. 24.

Invader “Wipe Out: An Explosition of Invader in Hong Kong” at The Qube (Hong Kong)

Invader "Wipe Out: An Explosition of Invader in Hong Kong" @ The Qube

French mosaic specialist Invader is returning to Hong Kong for his first solo show entitled “Wipe Out” at The Qube. Earlier in 2015 Invader’s works around Hong Kong were removed by street cleaning crews within a week of being finished and this, a new body of works, is set to be a response to that experience. Featuring LED, sculpture and a sticker-covered scooter, the exhibition will open May 2 and all proceeds from souvenirs will help support the charity Pathfinders.

The Qube
PMQ, 35 Aberdeen Street
Central
Hong Kong

Tokyo artist creates photo-realistic drawings with colored pencils

colored pencil top

RocketNews 24:

Hey that’s a nice photograph of a peaceful oasis in Tokyo. Wait, it’s not a photograph? It’s a drawing? Made with colored pencils?!

Ryota Hayashi has been bringing the Nakano Ward of Tokyo to life for the past several years through his breathtakingly realistic colored pencil renditions. He’s recently been getting a lot of attention on social media, and it’s not at all hard to see why.

Ryota is a graduate of Waseda University’s Art History Department, and he worked as a graphic designer until he took up colored pencils in 2009. He looks for inspirationall around where he lives in Nakano, such as “the water shining beautifully on the water” or “the colors on a hill that look like a natural gradient.” It takes him about 20 minutes to fill up a B3 (13.9in x 19.7in) size piece of paper, and he holds colored pencil classes all over Nakano.

Unsurprisingly, when Ryota started sharing his work on the Nakano Facebook page, he immediately started racking up the likes and shares, bringing in lots of followers of his own.

Here’s a taste of what they saw:

Ryota was featured in the American art magazine COLORED PENCIL Magazine in 2014, and last month had an exhibit in Nakano featuring his work. Ryota commented: “I’ve gotten a lot more students in my colored pencil classes thanks to social media. I hope that my artwork inspires even more of them to take up the art. I want them to experience the delicacy and warmth that colored pencils provide over oil or watercolor.”

If you’d like to see more of Ryota’s work, then check out his Facebook orTwitter pages. And if you ever find yourself in the Nakano area with a box of colored pencils and you’re itching to draw, don’t be afraid to stop by one of his classes.

Artist Profile: KAWS “CLEAN SLATE” Exhibition at Harbour City Hong Kong

Image of KAWS “CLEAN SLATE” Exhibition @ Harbour City Hong Kong Recap

After giving a quick preview at the KAWS “CLEAN SLATE” exhibition earlier on this week, we now go in for a better look at the two-part installation at Harbour City, Hong Kong. On the outside forecourt we see the seven meter-tall KAWS “CLEAN SLATE” sculpture, a gesture towards starting afresh; the iconic COMPANION is back on his feet ready to start something new — only this time he is carrying two smaller COMPANIONS along with him.

Along with the outdoor installation, a special selection of KAWS prints are also exhibited at the Gallery by the Harbour, located just a floor above. Those traveling to Hong Kong from now until October 19 will be fortunate enough to catch to two-part exhibition on display — it would be best to go in the early morning or during the late hours to avoid a crowd.

 

Harbour City
3 – 27 Canton Road
Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon
Hong Kong

Gallery by the Harbour
Shop 207, level 2
Ocean Centre, Harbour City
Open: 11am to 10 pm

 

 

Image of KAWS “CLEAN SLATE” Exhibition @ Harbour City Hong Kong Recap

Image of KAWS “CLEAN SLATE” Exhibition @ Harbour City Hong Kong Recap

Image of KAWS “CLEAN SLATE” Exhibition @ Harbour City Hong Kong Recap

Image of KAWS “CLEAN SLATE” Exhibition @ Harbour City Hong Kong Recap

Image of KAWS “CLEAN SLATE” Exhibition @ Harbour City Hong Kong Recap

Image of KAWS “CLEAN SLATE” Exhibition @ Harbour City Hong Kong Recap

Image of KAWS “CLEAN SLATE” Exhibition @ Harbour City Hong Kong Recap

Image of KAWS “CLEAN SLATE” Exhibition @ Harbour City Hong Kong Recap

Image of KAWS “CLEAN SLATE” Exhibition @ Harbour City Hong Kong Recap

Image of KAWS “CLEAN SLATE” Exhibition @ Harbour City Hong Kong Recap

Image of KAWS “CLEAN SLATE” Exhibition @ Harbour City Hong Kong Recap

Image of KAWS “CLEAN SLATE” Exhibition @ Harbour City Hong Kong Recap

Image of KAWS “CLEAN SLATE” Exhibition @ Harbour City Hong Kong Recap

Image of KAWS “CLEAN SLATE” Exhibition @ Harbour City Hong Kong Recap

Image of KAWS “CLEAN SLATE” Exhibition @ Harbour City Hong Kong Recap

Image of KAWS “CLEAN SLATE” Exhibition @ Harbour City Hong Kong Recap

Image of KAWS “CLEAN SLATE” Exhibition @ Harbour City Hong Kong Recap

Image of KAWS “CLEAN SLATE” Exhibition @ Harbour City Hong Kong Recap

Image of KAWS “CLEAN SLATE” Exhibition @ Harbour City Hong Kong Recap