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Talk - Gekiga: The Evolution of Alternative Manga
Artist talk: Yoshitomo Nara
Talk: Speaking the Same Language - International Collaboration and Co-production in Performing Arts new
Artist talk: Shinro Ohtake
Workshop: Let's Catch the Lion -
Dobutsu Shogi (Animal Shogi) instructed by Madoka Kitao
Talk: Building Blocks: Curating Architecture new
Botech Compositions: New Work by Macoto Murayama
Yoshitomo Nara: Greetings from a Place in My Heart
Shinro Ohtake
It’s a Wrap: Japanese furoshiki past and present

Talk - Gekiga: The Evolution of Alternative Manga   org

The gritty genre of “Gekiga” was named by Yoshihiro Tatsumi in 1957. Based on “Komaga”, previously proposed by Masahiko Matsumoto, it aimed to differentiate itself from mainstream Manga and depict realism in daily life while pursuing a more systematic induction of the reader’s gaze.

The development of this visual expression by Tatsumi resulted not only in the growth of the comic rental market in Osaka, but once it had been picked up by publishers in Tokyo, it represented a new wave of Manga in late 1960’s Japan.

By rejecting the over simplistic, fantasy-based narratives of stereotypical Manga, Matsumoto and Tatsumi’s realistic mode created work from the viewpoint of the everyday man and minorities. Why did these artists move away from moralistic tales where good always defeated evil, and how did their experimental storylines and unique visual language evolve?

Mitsuhiro Asakawa, an award winning historian of Gekiga, will introduce some of Japan’s most influential Gekiga artists and reflect on his personal encounters with them, as well as explore the original source of creativity in Gekiga expression and the social circumstances that resulted in this style. Following the talk, Paul Gravett, a journalist and author specialising in comics publishing and promotion, will join the conversation.

This event will provide an intriguing and insightful scope into Gekiga and alternative comics to Manga in Japan.

**This event has been cancelled**


Date: 25 September 2014 from 6.30pm
Venue:

The Japan Foundation, London


Booking:

This event is free to attend but booking is essential. To reserve a place, please e-mail your name and the title of the event you would like to attend to event@jpf.org.uk.

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Artist talk: Yoshitomo Nara   org

Yoshitomo Nara is one of the most influential and internationally renowned contemporary artists from Japan, best known for his impressionable paintings depicting children and animals. His painterly expression and use of colour are strongly influenced by Western and Japanese modern paintings. That, along with living in a rapidly changing post-war Japan, and being exposed and aware to various cultures – visual arts, literature, and music – that transcend borders, have culminated into forming his current artistic expression. 

On the occasion of his solo exhibition, Greetings from a Place in My Heart, taking place at Dairy Art Centre, London, Nara will speak about his day-to-day creative practice, and what lies at the basis of his expression and artistic sensibility. 

This is a very rare opportunity to gain a further insight into one of Japan’s most legendary artists who seldom makes public appearances, whilst surrounded by his paintings, drawings and sculptures on display.


Date: 3 October 2014 from 7.00pm
Venue:

Dairy Art Centre
7a Wakefield St, London WC1N 1PG


Booking:

This event is free but booking essential. To book your place via the website Eventbrite, please click here.

The exhibition Greetings from a Place in My Heart will be at Dairy Art Centre from 3 October to 7 December 2014.  For more information, please visit: dairyartcentre.org.uk

Images: Left:  Yoshitomo Nara, Can’t wait ’til the Night Comes, 2012, © Yoshitomo Nara. Courtesy Blum & Poe, LA.; Yoshitomo Nara, Wicked Looking, 2012, Photo: Joshua White, © Yoshitomo Nara. Courtesy Blum & Poe, LA. (part). Portrait: © Yoshitomo Nara, Photo: Minami Tsukamoto.

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Talk: Speaking the Same Language - International Collaboration and Co-production in Performing Arts   org

With the increasing number of opportunities available, performing arts professionals have noted the benefits of international collaboration, and this has resulted in a growing number of projects being co-produced, even between the U.K. and Japan. Attributed to many factors, including arguably improved communication technology and the increased pace of globalisation, this established practice is not just about touring a one-off project; through combined efforts by producers and artists, multicultural understanding and artistic development is used to create new works that overcome barriers between nations, languages and companies. But what is the reality of international collaboration/co-production and why has there been a surge of the practice in recent years?

With over 40 years of experience as a producer for contemporary performing arts, Hiroshi Takahagi, Vice Director of the Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre in Japan, will explore issues involved in international collaboration/co-production, in particular works linked with Japan. Illustrating some past examples, Takahagi will also explain the different modes and mechanisms of creating a joint work, and expand on the rewards and challenges of these international activities, as well as what the future holds.


Date: 7 October 2014 from 6.30pm
Venue:

Japan Foundation, London


Booking:
This event is free to attend but booking is essential. To reserve a place, please e-mail your name and the title of the event you would like to attend to event@jpf.org.uk.

Image credits: Left: The Opportunity of Efficiency, production by National Theatre Wales produced by New National Theatre Tokyo. Right: Shun-kin, production by Complicite, performed at the Barbican Centre, London. Photo by Sarah Ainslie

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Artist talk: Shinro Ohtake   org

Constantly exploring the act of creating, Shinro Ohtake is a distinguished Japanese contemporary artist whose career spans over 35 years. His work is truly borderless with his main medium being painting but also expands into sculpture, design, installation, and even experimental music.

Ohtake’s subject and complex style has earned him numerous invitations to exhibitions worldwide including dOCUMENTA (13) in 2012, the Venice Biennale in 2013 and this year’s Yokohama Triennale. Additionally, he was recently awarded one of Japan’s most prominent art accolades, The Agency for Cultural Affairs Minister’s Award for the Fine Arts 2013-2014. 

In conjunction with the largest U.K. exhibition of his work at Parasol unit foundation of contemporary art in London, The Japan Foundation has invited Ohtake to explore the characteristics of both his past and recent work, and the unprecedented approach he uses for his own brand of accumulation. In discussion with Mark Rappolt, editor of ArtReview, this talk will also examine the meaning of expression in his interdisciplinary style, reflecting how his approach and characteristics have developed over time in response to the changing worldwide and Japanese art scene


Date: 10 October 2014 from 6.30pm
Venue:

The Japan Foundation, London


Booking:

This event is free to attend but booking is essential. To reserve a place, please e-mail your name and the title of the event you would like to attend to event@jpf.org.uk.

Image: Shinro Ohtake, Scrapbook #66, 2010-2012. Mixed media artist book, 72 x 96 x 129 cm, 27.2 kg, 830 pages. Courtesy of the artist and Take Ninagawa, Tokyo, photo by Kei Okano

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Workshop: Let's Catch the Lion -
Dobutsu Shogi (Animal Shogi) instructed by Madoka Kitao
  org

Shogi is a traditional Japanese board game, similar to Western Chess. Played by two players, the different ways in which the pieces can move arguably makes Shogi strategically more interesting and exciting to play through to the end. However, the downside of Shogi is that it takes some time to master…

In order to encourage those who have always wanted to play Shogi but didn’t know where to start, the Japan Foundation has invited Madoka Kitao, one of Japan’s most distinguished Shogi players to teach you ‘Dobutsu Shogi’ (‘Animal Shogi’), a simplified version of Shogi, invented by Kitao herself.

Having much less pieces on the board, Dobutsu Shogi may seem an easy game at first, but once you experience it, you will soon be drawn into the dazzling labyrinthine world of Shogi. The game is suitable for all ages (as long as you can recognize the animal pictures on the pawns!) and even those who consider themselves a Shogi master will also be fascinated to play this wild variation!

At the beginning of workshop, Madoka Kitao will also talk about the culture and history of Shogi in Japan.

Come and enjoy Dobutsu Shogi and meet the master and inventor of this cute board game!

For ages 8 to 108! (Children under 11 must be accompanied by a responsible adult.)

Workshop Times:

11:00am - 12:30pm (for adults and independent children)
2:00pm - 3:30pm (for families) 

2:00pm - 3:30pm (for families)

Date: 11 October 2014
Venue:

The Japan Foundation, London


The workshops are free to attend but booking is essential. To register, please email your name and the session you would like to attend to: event@jpf.org.uk

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Talk: Building Blocks: Curating Architecture   org

Despite the complexity and difficult curatorial challenge in exhibiting architecture as a medium, a number of such exhibitions have been held in a variety of settings. Often involving installations, sketches, photos and models, we are able to gain an insight into the minds, worlds and inspirations of architects and the environments they create, but what can be truly understood about architecture through such exhibitions?

Contemplating this question, the Japan Foundation has invited Kayoko Ota, a curator and editor specialising in architecture, to discuss the purpose of architecture exhibitions and how this format can help foster our understanding. Having been the commissioner for this year’s Japan Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale and with long and established career overseas, Ota will draw on her global experience to explore various issues involved in curating architecture exhibitions both on a practical and theoretical level, while looking into what aspects in Japanese architecture have been and can be examined keeping its history, characteristics and current state in mind.

Booking:
This event is free to attend but booking is essential. To reserve a place, please e-mail your name and the title of the event you would like to attend to event@jpf.org.uk.


Date: 20 October 2014 from 6.30pm
Venue:

Japan Foundation, London

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Botech Compositions: New Work by Macoto Murayama   JPsupported

For the 2014 Liverpool Biennial, Metal will be exhibiting the work of Macoto Murayama. Based in Tokyo, Murayama spent six months of 2013 living and working at Metal’s space in Southend on Sea, dissecting, recording and rendering in digital form UK indigenous flowers. The resulting works are presented at Metal’s Liverpool base, Edge Hill Station as a series of high definition, animated sequences that reveals the beauty, fragility and architectural structure of flowers. It is the first time that Macoto Murayama’s work has been exhibited in the UK.


Date: 4 July 2014 - 26 October 2014
Venue:

Metal, Edge Hill Station, Liverpool


For more information, please click here.
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Yoshitomo Nara: Greetings from a Place in My Heart   JPsupported

Dairy Art Centre, London, will present a major solo exhibition by Japanese artist Yoshitomo Nara. The exhibition will be the largest and most comprehensive in the UK to date, and will feature seminal pieces by the artist, many of which have never been shown before in the UK. Comprising a large body of recent and previously unreleased works, the exhibition will include painting, sculpture and a unique retrospective of Nara’s drawings spanning 30 years.


Date: 3 October 2014 - 7 December 2014
Venue:

Dairy Art Centre, London


For more information, please click here.
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Shinro Ohtake   JPsupported

Parasol unit foundation for contemporary art will present a solo exhibition devoted to the work of Japanese artist Shinro Ohtake. The exhibition is Ohtake’s first major show in a public London institution and provides an important exposure of Ohtake’s early, recent and new works. It focuses particularly on his ‘Retina’ and ‘Time Memory’ series, but also includes works from the ‘Frost’ and ‘Cell’ series. Several of Ohtake’s films, another integral part of his practice, will also be screened during the exhibition.


Date: 12 October 2014 - 12 December 2014
Venue:

Parasol unit foundation for contemporary art, London


For more information, please click here.

Image: Shinro Ohtake, 'Time Memory 28' (detail), 2014. 220.5 x 300.5 x 10.5 cm. Courtesy of the artist and Take Ninagawa, Tokyo

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It’s a Wrap: Japanese furoshiki past and present   JPsupported

The Rugby Art Gallery and Museum presents a new large scale exhibition focusing on furoshiki, a square shaped piece of cloth used for wrapping and carry different types of merchandise or gifts. Featuring loans of textiles from museum collections in the UK and pieces not seen in the UK before from collections in Japan, the exhibition explores the cultural significance and origins of furoshiki, as well as its application today as an eco-friendly alternative to plastic bags and expensive gift wrapping.


Date: 20 September 2014 - 10 January 2015
Venue:

Rugby Art Gallery and Museum


For more information, please click here.

Image credit: Cotton material, indigo dyed Shindigo shibori, 900 x 900. 2007. Commissioned by Brighton Museum & Art Gallery from HIROYUKI Shindo © Royal Pavilion & Museums, Brighton & Hove

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