Sompo Japan Building, Shinjuku – by Cieguilla
Yes, Tokyo really is this grey, but not all of it. There are some great views from the other side of the bay: Odaiba, Ariake, for example. I’ll try doing one of these from there some time.
Any other recommended spots for views of the city?
Hiroji Kubota spent four years travelling the length and breadth of Japan with his camera and the results are currently on display outdoors on the Southbank in my native London.
Have any London Metbloggers seen the exhibition?
See more of his photos here:
Many thanks to Orhan for the photo of a photo.
Looks like there is a photo exhibition running until July 9th: Through Wider Windows:
The history of photography seems short when compared to other art forms, but actually, it has already been 170 years since the camera was invented. Over the years, photography has been the vehicle for countless technological breakthroughs and developments, but more importantly, it has helped clarify the meaning of “seeing” in the everyday world as well as the art world where it has brought about fundamental changes with respect to technique and the aesthetic concepts of representation. Throughout the course of these changes, we can sense the immense spirit of inquiry and enthusiasm that artists brought to their work in their ongoing struggle to expand their capabilities and broaden their worldview.
If this is your “bag”, then you only have a few days left to catch this exhibition. GET A MOVE ON!
After the relationship success of last week’s trip to an art exhibit (“Aces, you’re so multi-dimensional!”) in Ginza, I decided to follow it up with an excursion to Nishi-Shinjuku to take in James Welling’s “New Photographs.” You already know my penchant for shiny and colorful things, so it’s not surprising I chose to see the bright primary colors-heavy artwork.
The interesting thing about the photos on display was that they were made without the use of a camera. Welling places flowers on negatives and exposes them to light, giving a gray-scale imprint of the flowers on film. Then he prints it and applies a single color or two to the image. The results are pretty amazing and quite stunning, at least to this art-viewing newbie.
You can catch his work until February 25th at the Wako Works of Art building in Nishi-Shinjuku. The easiest way to get there I found was to exit Hatsudai station from the East Exit, which gets you directly into the Opera City Building. From the building’s main entrance, it’s about a 500m walk. The receptionist should be able to help you find your way, and if not you can call the number at the TAB page.
A bonus of making that trip was that right next door at the Kenji Taki Gallery was an exhibit of some very fine paintings. Now, I have to be honest – I’m not sure if they were paintings or photos converted to look like paintings and printed as such. They were photorealistic drawings from Yutaka Koyanagi, all done at night of various places in and around Tokyo it seems. The day I went was the last day, and I didn’t see it advertised on TAB, so it was a welcome surprise. If you stood next to the paintings you could clearly see the extensive use of gradients to imitate shades and details, but when you stepped away it looked just like a photo. Lighting and water effects were great too. I’m amazed at how he was able to paint so close to the canvas, but somehow know what it would look like 5 feet away.
I didn’t take any photos out of respect for the artist, who I believe was 10 feet away from me (someone was getting their photo taken when I walked in). The exhibit that’s there now seems really fun – I didn’t see the artwork, but there was a postcard for it when I arrived that shows a painting of a desert with Ultraman characters floating or playing on a playground.
This past weekend I headed out to Ginza to see the “Form of Light” exhibit by Takahashi Nobuyuki and Tamura Satomi. It’s located in the Pola building right next to the Ginza 1-chome station, but it’s an easy 8 minute walk from Yurakucho on Yamanote as well. It opens at 10:00am and closes at 7:00pm every day except the last day (closing time is 5:00pm).
There were maybe 40 vibrantly colored photos in all covering various seasons and themes. I was especially fond of the night-time photographs, but that’s because I’m easily amused by shiny objects and moons that take up half the sky. I’d maybe talk about a few of the photos in particular, but the artists saw fit to use kanji that hasn’t seen the light of day in 600 years to describe their work, and I don’t have a Japanese Rosetta Stone handy.
This particular exhibit caught my eye for another reason – it’s one of the few photography exhibits dealing with nature that are open on Sundays, when I chose to go. And with a price tag of 0 yen, it’s the perfect start to a date. My girlfriend, whose enthusiasm for bright colors and sunsets somehow dwarfs my own, thought it was a great idea. I scored “cultured guy” and “mysterious artsy guy” points simultaneously.
The exhibit ends on 2/26, so I recommend you head down there now if you’re looking for a change of pace, or if you just happen to like photography. You can also check out Tokyo Art Beat for more information on current and upcoming art events in Tokyo.