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Metamorphosis of Japan After the War
Reality Check: Artist talk by Chim↑Pom
Film Screening: KABUKU
Behind the Curtain of Contemporary Kabuki Theatre
Worn with Pride -- Textiles, Kimono, and Propaganda in Japan, 1925-1945 new
A Lost Art Revived: Tsujigahana, Itchiku Tsujigahana and Ichiku Kubota -- A talk by Dr Jacqueline M. Atkins new
Eastern Exchanges: East Asian Craft and Design

Metamorphosis of Japan After the War   org

In 1945, postwar Japan made a new start from the ashes of devastation, and, in the twenty years leading up to the Tokyo Olympics of 1964, it succeeded in undergoing a dramatic transformation, embarking on a path towards becoming an economic power.

These two decades constituted a period truly brimming with creative energy – a time in which democracy led to the restoration of vitality through free photographic expression and in which new talent pioneered postwar photography.

This new exhibition looks back on this turbulent period that followed the war, exhibiting over 100 black and white photographs by 11 leading artists of postwar Japan photography, including Yasuhiro Ishimoto, Shomei Tomatsu, Eikoh Hosoe and Ken Domon. Rather than arranging the works by period and author, this exhibition is divided into three sections - "The Aftermath of the War," "Between Tradition and Modernity," and "Towards a New Japan."

Although the arrangement may seem arbitrary, the sequence in fact provides a vivid narrative of the convoluted aspects of this complicated era.


Date: 22 January 2015 - 26 April 2015
Venue:

Open Eye Gallery, Liverpool


For more information, please click here.

Image: Shigeichi Nagano, Completing management training at a stock brokerage firm. Ikebukuro. Tokyo 1961

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Reality Check: Artist talk by Chim↑Pom   org

Chim↑Pom, the six-strong artist collective known as the enfant terrible of Japan's art scene, create distinctive works that challenge contemporary social problems, and the realities that we choose not to see. Formed in Tokyo in 2005, the group's approach is underscored by the use of found objects, mass media, and chance. Chim↑Pom work mainly in video but their many mixed medium creations look beyond traditional aesthetic standards to construct coded narratives that drive compelling messages about limitations and boundaries, both literally and figuratively. Through critical thinking and creativity they tackle themes including urbanisation, celebrity, and more recently, the tsunami and nuclear incidents of 3/11.

Fresh off their success at this year’s Prudential Eye Awards, where they won not only “Best Emerging Artist Using Digital/Video” but were also named “Best Emerging Artist of the Year”, two members of this provocative collective, Ryuta Ushiro and Ellie, have been invited to map Chim↑Pom’s diverse career. Preluding their first group exhibition in London, by the mountain path held at the White Rainbow Gallery, they will explore how they came to be and why their work pushes the limits of contemporary Japanese art and the Japanese art scene.

After their presentation, Ushiro and Ellie will be joined in conversation by Dr Sook-Kyung Lee, Research Curator of Tate Research Centre: Asia-Pacific. 


Date: 29 April 2015 from 6.45pm
Venue:

Free Word Centre
60 Farringdon Road, London EC1R 3GA


Booking

This event is ticketed. To buy tickets please visit the Free Word website.

To download the flyer please click here

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Film Screening: KABUKU
Behind the Curtain of Contemporary Kabuki Theatre
  org

Kabuku is a fascinating documentary offering a behind-the-scenes view of the unique theatrical genre of Japanese kabuki. Focusing on the rehearsal process and lead up to the performance of the contemporary kabuki play Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura (Yoshitsune and the 1,000 Cherry Trees) - a version of which was also performed at Sadler's Wells in London in 2010 - the documentary follows the preparations by the play's well-known and respected actor, Kamejiro Ichikawa II, now inheritor of the prestigious stage name Ennosuke Ichikawa IV.

The film is an often unseen glimpse into the many backstage preparations involved; including kabuki stage make-up as well as the rarely unveiled traditional but very innovative routines and special effects behind some of the play's spectacular character shifts, exits and entrances. It will also reveal the meticulous, demanding and even daring tasks required by performers and set up by dedicated backstage staff, providing a colourful introduction to contemporary kabuki performances.

The screening will be introduced by Dr Alan Cummings, Senior Teaching Fellow in Japanese at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, and followed by a discussion with the film's director, Yoshitaro Saito.

In Japanese with English subtitles


Date: 1 May 2015 from 6.30pm
Venue:

Asia House, Fine Room 1
63 New Cavendish Street, London W1G 7LP


Booking:

This screening taking place at Asia House is now fully booked. To register for the waiting list, please e-mail your name and the title of the event to event@jpf.org.uk

Additional Screenings:
The film will also be shown at these selected venues, followed by a discussion by Yoshitaro Saito: 

27 April 2015, from 6:00pm
The University of Edinburgh
Screening Room (G.04) at the School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures, 50 George Square, Edinburgh, EH8 9LH
Click here for more information 


30 April 2015, from 6:30pm
Royal Holloway University, London
Caryl Churchill Theatre, Katharine Worth Building, Department of Drama & Theatre, Royal Holloway, University of London, Egham Hill, Egham, Surrey, TW20 0EX
Click here for more information

2 May 2015, from 2:00pm
Durham University
Lecture Room 9, Elvet Hill House (adjacent to the Oriental Museum), Elvet Hill, Durham EH1 3TH
Click here for more information 

Image: © Yoshitaro Saito

To download the flyer please click here

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Worn with Pride -- Textiles, Kimono, and Propaganda in Japan, 1925-1945   org

Japan has a rich tradition of textile production, crafting remarkable fabrics that reveal the country’s considered aesthetics. From century to century, decorative fabrics have been used to adorn the body and bring pleasure not only to those who wore them, but also to all who saw them. One period of history, however, highlights a remarkable change in the visual design of Japanese textiles.

Commemorating the 70th anniversary of the end of the Second World War, The Japan Foundation, London has invited Dr Jacqueline M. Atkins, to give a special illustrated talk on the capacity of cloth to communicate the persuasive power of Japanese propaganda of the time. While presenting various examples of the striking designs used in garments from children’s kimonos to adult attire, Dr Atkins will map the evolution in pattern design during a time of conflict that produced a new look in fashion. She will also discuss the meanings behind the distinct graphics represented in the textiles, and why these unique visual references symbolised the social, cultural, and even political interest and patriotism of this period in Japanese history.

Dr Jacqueline M. Atkins, a textile historian, was Chief Curator and the Kate Fowler Merle-Smith Curator of Textiles for the Allentown Art Museum in Allentown, Pennsylvania. She has lectured extensively on Japanese modern textiles, Japanese and American quilts, and American folk art. Her publications include Wearing Propaganda: Textiles on the Home Front in Japan, Britain, and the United States, 1931–1945, based on her exhibition of the same name, and “Japanese Novelty Textiles” in The Brittle Decade: Visualizing Japan in the 1930s. She holds a Ph.D. from Bard Graduate Center for Decorative Arts, Design History, and Material Culture.


Date: 14 May 2015 from 6.30pm
Venue:

The Swedenborg Society
20-21 Bloomsbury Way (Entrance on Barter Street) London WC1A 2TH

For further details of the location, please visit: www.swedenborg.org.uk/contact


Booking:

The event is free to attend but booking is essential. To reserve a place, please send an email to event@jpf.org.uk

Image: Child’s kimono, Searchlights, Tanaka Yoku Collection. Photo: Nakagawa Taadaki, Artec Studio

To download the flyer please click here

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A Lost Art Revived: Tsujigahana, Itchiku Tsujigahana and Ichiku Kubota -- A talk by Dr Jacqueline M. Atkins   org

Translated literally as “flowers at the crossroads”, tsujigahana refers to a sophisticated stitched- and tied-resist dyeing technique that was especially popular from the late Muromachi (1338–1573) to early Edo (1603-1868) period. This complicated and time-consuming decorative process was a way of creating magnificent visual imagery and resulted in fabrics that were exceptionally beautiful, very expensive, and highly revered.

In this illustrated talk, Dr Jacqueline M. Atkins, will introduce the history of this very special design technique and expand on its development and subsequent mysterious disappearance around a hundred years after its inception. Dr Atkins’ discussion of Itchiku Tsujigahana, a rejuvenated contemporary version of this ancient art created by kimono artist Itchiku Kubota as he sought to replicate the technique’s elusive beauty, will also focus on Kubota’s documented style and reflect on how his methods encouraged an evolution in the traditional tsujigahana processes for application in the 20th century.

Dr Atkins curated the exhibition Kimono Transformed: The Textile Artistry of Itchiku Kubota that travelled to Moscow and St. Petersburg last year and is now a consultant for the museum in Japan named after the artist. She recently completed The Textile Artistry of Itchiku Kubota, a volume featuring many of the most important kimono designed by Kubota, who died in 2003.


Date: 15 May 2015 from 6.30pm
Venue:

The Art Workers' Guild
6 Queen Square, London WC1N 3AT

For further details of the location, please visit: www.artworkersguild.org/contact/


Booking:

The event is free to attend but booking is essential. To reserve a place, please send an email to event@jpf.org.uk

Image: Three sequential kimono from Symphony of Light, The Kubota Collection. © The International Chodiev Foundation 2015

To download the flyer please click here

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Eastern Exchanges: East Asian Craft and Design   JPsupported

This exhibition will trace the history and future of East Asian craft and design and its global influence in this exhibition inspired by objects from Manchester Art Gallery’s collection. The show features over 1,500 years of the rich craft heritage of Japan, China and Korea: ceramics, metalwork, furniture, lacquer, textiles and sculpture, with exhibits ranging from magnificent court treasures, to masterpieces by contemporary makers.

There will be opportunities to see historic works from Manchester’s collection which have not been exhibited for over 30 years, including an exquisite early nineteenth century Japanese lacquer norimono (travelling carriage) and hand-chiselled Japanese tsuba (sword guards), which are being conserved especially for this show. Contemporary work includes Fumio Enomoto’s ‘Weave Stool’, commissioned specially from the award-winning designer, plus elegant ceramics by Yasuko Sakurai.


Date: 2 April 2015 - 31 May 2015
Venue:

Manchester Art Gallery, Manchester


For more information, please click here.

Image: Yasuko Sakurai, Orb 2012

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