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Japanese art

Curator's Corner

Gem of the Month: Kyoko Tokumaru

Monday, June 10, 2024 | Karl Cole

Kyoko Tokumaru is a brilliant sculptor who creates organic forms in ceramics, fashioning complex pieces out of hard-to-work-with porcelain. Like many contemporary clay sculptures, Tokumaru’s wor ...

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Curator's Corner

Gem of the Month: Kumi Sugaï

Monday, March 18, 2024 | Karl Cole

Abstraction was not an invention of Western artists in the early 1900s. The following definitions indicate that abstraction has been part of art throughout the world since the cave paintings of pre-hi ...

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Curator's Corner

Happy New Year: Kamisaka Sekka

Tuesday, January 2, 2024 | Karl Cole

What better way to wish "Happy New Year" to all than with a beautiful painting of the sacred Mount Fuji! ...

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Curator's Corner

Japanese Fashion: Yamamoto Kansai

Monday, December 11, 2023 | Karl Cole

Having studied fashion history in college, I’m always keen on researching unconventional designers. Kansai Yamamoto certainly fills that bill. His outstandingly avant-garde designs helped advanc ...

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Curator's Corner

It's Still Autumn: Noguchi Shōhin

Monday, December 4, 2023 | Karl Cole

It may feel like winter, but technically it’s still autumn until the 21st of December. I like nothing better than celebrating autumn—my favorite season in New England—with an artist ...

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Curator's Corner

The Intangible in Japanese Photography

Monday, October 30, 2023 | Karl Cole

Traditional reverence for nature—a mainstay in most Japanese art forms throughout art history—continues in the work of contemporary Japanese artists. After a couple of beautifully foggy mo ...

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Curator's Corner

Do Not Deface! Historic Sites to Visit Respectfully

Monday, July 24, 2023 | Karl Cole

As an art historian and artist, I am appalled by recent incidents of tourists defacing the Colosseum (72–80 CE) in Rome and Toshodai-ji (founded 759 CE) in Nara, Japan, with their initials. It i ...

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Curator's Corner

Gems of the Month: Contemporary Japanese Tea Bowls

Monday, May 8, 2023 | Karl Cole

This month’s gems are contemporary artworks that serve the ages-old Japanese tea ceremony (chanoyu or sado). Tea drinking was first introduced in Japan during the Nara period (710–794) aft ...

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Curator's Corner

A Young Wheat Plant for Spring: Hamada Shōji

Monday, April 17, 2023 | Karl Cole

As an avid learner of the thousands of years of Japanese ceramic arts history, I am always excited to contemplate an artist’s work that I had never studied carefully before. Shōji Hama ...

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Curator's Corner

World Landscape Architecture Month: Ginkakuji Temple

Monday, April 3, 2023 | Karl Cole

Landscape architects around the world make works of art out of the natural environment. Every culture has aesthetics that guide this work. In the case of traditional dry gardens in Japan, Zen Buddhist ...

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Curator's Corner

Happy New Year 2023: Totoya Hokkei

Tuesday, January 3, 2023 | Karl Cole

Mekari Shinji at the Mekari Shrine in Japan is an annual ritual of cutting wakame seaweed—symbolizing wealth and good fortune—from the ocean at low tide on New Year’s day of the old ...

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Curator's Corner

Disability Pride Month 2022: Yayoi Kusama

Monday, July 18, 2022 | Karl Cole

During her long and distinguished artistic career, artist Yayoi Kusama has explored painting, sculpture, conceptual art, performance art, and installation with sound. She has created a truly unique ae ...

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Curator's Corner

Gem of the Month: Oki Sato

Monday, April 18, 2022 | Karl Cole

It’s always refreshing to learn about a designer who combines an unconventional aesthetic with concern for our climate-changing planet, so Oki Sato’s Cabbage Chair is my Gem of the Month. ...

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Curator's Corner

World Landscape Architecture Month: Nanzen-ji

Monday, April 4, 2022 | Karl Cole

The landscaping and gardens at Nanzen-ji certainly could be considered an outdoor sculptural installation. As landscape architecture, the garden of this extraordinarily peaceful place in Kyoto approac ...

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Curator's Corner

Peace for the New Year

Monday, January 3, 2022 | Karl Cole

The last couple of years have been rather stressful for all of us, I would imagine, what with the pandemic and all its consequences. When I’m stressed out, I tend to want to look at art; the mor ...

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Curator's Corner

Gem of the Month: Hashimoto Gahō

Monday, October 25, 2021 | Karl Cole

I have such an admiration for Japanese monochromatic painting that I decided to celebrate the firm establishment of autumn with one of my favorite nihon-ga artists, who was also featured for his winte ...

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