Activist art for Fukushima

Yoi KawakuboYesterday was the fourth anniversary of the March 11th tsunami and Fukushima nuclear disaster in Tohoku in northern Japan. To commemorate the event, and to encourage us to question our use of nuclear energy, Art Action UK have mounted a small exhibition at the White Conduit Projects in Islington of artworks centring around nuclear power plants and the Fukushima area. Continue reading

Kirk Palmer – Remembering absence

Kirk Palmer Remembering AbsenceLast week I did a post about the Conflict:Time:Photography exhibition at the Tate Modern, and the way it brings the past into focus by showing the elapse of time from a key event, like the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima. Now here I am again with another photography exhibition about the dropping of the atomic bomb, but one with an approach that couldn’t be more different. The clue is in the exhibition title – Remembering Absence. Continue reading

Conflict:Time:Photography at the Tate Modern – Hiroshima Memories

I know, it’s a bit odd to write about Hiroshima in January. The time to remember the atomic bomb that was dropped there, bringing the War in the Pacific to an end, is August, the anniversary of the event. But I’ve been thinking about Hiroshima because of a visit to the Conflict:Time:Photography exhibition at the Tate Modern which shows the legacy of war as artists and photographers have captured it in retrospect. Looking at the recollections of Hiroshima in the show brought back my memories of visiting the city. Continue reading

Hiroshi Sugimoto’s Double-frozen Still Life

Alaskan Wolves (1994), Hiroshi Sugimoto © Hiroshi Sugimoto

Alaskan Wolves (1994), Hiroshi Sugimoto © Hiroshi Sugimoto

Sometimes I go looking for art in small, hidden galleries; sometimes I trek off to the farthest reaches of London; but for this exhibition, all I had to do was stroll round to the back of the Royal Academy on Piccadilly, go in through the grand portals of their Burlington Gardens gallery, ignore the imposing staircase straight ahead and take a sharp right into the Pace Gallery where the work of Hiroshi Sugimoto is currently on display. Continue reading

Kyoto, City of Dreams, comes to London

Kyoto City of Dreams I went to a lovely little exhibition of photos of Kyoto and Kyoto-made kimonos yesterday. It’s in a new gallery on Museum St called Mokspace, perfect if you’re on your way to the British Museum and want a little art aperitif before you go in. It’s the work of photographer Jeremy Hoare and his Japanese wife, kimono-maker Chizuko Kimura. Continue reading

Taku Aramasa and Yoshishige Saito at Annely Juda Fine Art

Yoshishige SaitoIn my search for Japanese artists showing in London it’s always exciting to come across an exhibition at one of the big west end galleries. So you can imagine how I felt when I discovered that Annely Juda Fine Art were showing not one but two Japanese artists. Their work forms a fascinating contrast: Yoshishige Saito is an abstract sculptor in the Constructivist mould while Taku Aramasa is a photographer with a special method of printing his work. Continue reading

Tsunaki Kuwashima – The Eternal Idol

Tsunaki Kuwashima

I love the Jomon period – it’s so ancient (it began over 16,000 years ago, back in the dawn of prehistory) and yet Jomon craftsmen made amazing pots that are indisputably works of art.  So when Yannick suggested a trip to Bethnal Green to see photographer Tsunaki Kuwashima’s new exhibition, The Eternal Idol,  at the Union Gallery I was keen to go. What’s the connection? Dogū – the mysterious clay figurines that were made by the same prehistoric craftsmen as the pots. Continue reading

David Bowie’s Japanese Photographer

David Bowie - Masayoshi Sukita

Got your ticket to the David Bowie Exhibition at the V&A yet? No, me neither. I’m not good at these great blockbuster exhibitions; I can’t cope with the crowds. So instead I took myself off to a small and peaceful exhibition in a gallery in the Piccadilly Arcade (across the road from the Royal Academy) where I passed a happy hour looking at some iconic photos of David Bowie taken by his long-term collaborator, Masayoshi Sukita. Continue reading

Two years on from the Great East Japan Earthquake – Hope

Great East Japan Earthquake - cleared land at Natori CityI’ve just been to an exhibition of press photos from the Great East Japan Earthquake, held to mark the two-year anniversary of the disaster. There are some amazing pictures, as you would expect, of the immediate aftermath of the tsunami that devastated vast areas of Tohoku in North-Eastern Japan, but what impressed me most were the pictures of people beginning to rebuild their homes and their lives. Continue reading