Japan

Isle of Dogs

April 12, 2018
Atari and friends ride the dumpster in 'Isle of Dogs'

It may be the Year of the Dog but the Japanese are definitely cat people. Until recently Fido held his own against Kitty as a domestic pet but now the cats are in the ascendency and are surging ahead. It could hardly be otherwise with the ubiquitous Maneki Neko (“Hello Kitty!”) waving its paw in … More


Echigo Tsumari Art Triennial 2012

August 4, 2012
Gombe-san croons to the Karaoke robot, in front of Brook Andrew's Australia House installation (photo: Brett Boardman)

When Japan was devastated by the Tohoku earthquake on 11 March last year, one of the casualties was a century-old farm house in the tiny community of Urada, in the mountains near Tokamachi City. Less than two years previously this building had been designated ‘Australia House’ at the 2009 Echigo Tsumari Art Triennial (ETT), serving … More


Kamisaka Sekka & Hiroshige

July 21, 2012
Kamisaka Sekka (1866-1942), Flowers and plants of the four seasons 1920-25, pair of six folding screens, ink, colour and gold on silk, 82.3x244.8cm

Art in Japan has been through all the same upheavals as art in the west, but no other country has managed to retain so much of its own distinctive character. The defining characteristics include a respect for tradition that shines through even in a critical or satirical mode; a love of beauty and craftsmanship; and … More


Emily Kame Kngwarreye in Osaka

February 1, 2008

“Why is it,” asks Margo Neale, “that they call Emily the impossible modernist?’” The term assumes that an elderly Aboriginal woman who spent virtually her entire life in the central desert region, had no chance of becoming acquainted with the great icons of modern art. The underlying idea is that modernism was the invention of … More