Japan: Kingdom of Characters

4 February 2012 – 24 June 2012

Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, Norwich

This vibrant exhibition offers the chance to encounter characters from television, computer games and comics. Many have become much loved household names around the world.

Kingdom of Characters comes to the Sainsbury Centre following displays in Manila and Sydney. Providing an overview of manga and anime through the second half of the 20th century, the exhibition provides a unique insight into this cultural phenomenon.

It will also give fans the chance to come face-to-face with some of their favourite characters, including humansized Ultraman, Pikachu and a Hello Kitty ‘skipping’ through the gallery.

As well as 3D characters, the exhibition includes graphic illustrations and even a room-set of a teenager’s Hello Kitty bedroom. The set has also been specially designed by the Sainsbury Centre to allow younger visitors the chance to peep into the room, which is decorated with merchandise featuring Kitty in her many manifestations, from duvetcover to alarm clock. Anime screenings and graphic illustrations are included in the exhibition and create a context for the visiting characters.

The exhibition asks some thought-provoking questions about what characters are, why they are so popular and how they have become central to everyday life within contemporary Japanese society. The exhibition also considers ideas such as the importance of characters as design products.

 For more information, please click here.
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Daiwa Foundation Art Prize

8 Jun 2012 to 19 Jul 2012

Monday – Friday, 9:30am – 5:00pm

At the Japan House Gallery

Exhibition:

Daiwa Foundation Art Prize

The three artists short listed for the Daiwa Foundation Art Prize, introducing British artists to Japan, will exhibit their work at Daiwa Foundation Japan House Gallery in London from 8 June until 19 July 2012.  The winner of the £5,000 prize and the opportunity for a solo exhibition at SCAI THE BATHHOUSE  in Tokyo (16 November – 20 December), will be announced on 7 June. Download the exhibition catalogue here.

Image (left to right):
Tom Hammick, Germinate, 2012, oil on linen, 183 x 249cm, courtesy the artist and Eagle Gallery, London
Haroon Mirza, Installation shots of Digital Switchover at St.Gallen, 2012, mixed media, dimensions variable, courtesy the artist Photo: Gunnar Meier
Jennifer E. Price, Soixante-neuf, 2012, print, 472 x 238cm, courtesy the artist

The Shortlisted Artists

Tom Hammick studied MA Printmaking at Camberwell College of Art (1990). He has exhibited internationally in group and solo exhibitions including recent solo shows at Flowers Gallery, London, The Eagle Gallery, London, and Gallery Page and Strange, Canada (all 2011). He is a Senior Lecturer in Fine Art, Painting and Print at the University of Brighton. He lives in East Sussex. Although Hammick’s work references the real world, it is largely concerned with a sense of metaphorical journeying. His paintings and prints are often developed from observed drawings, but during the process of making the work these sources undergo significant transformations. (Artist’s website)

Haroon Mirza studied MA Fine Art at Chelsea College of Art & Design (2007). He was awarded the Northern Art Prize in 2010, and in 2011 has had a solo exhibition at the Lisson Gallery, London and participated in group exhibitions including Illuminations at the 54th Venice Biennale, Sum Parts at ACME Project Space, London and The British Art Show 7 at The Hayward Gallery, London. In his work, Mirza attempts to isolate the perceptual distinctions between noise, sound and music and explore the possibility of the visual and acoustic as one singular aesthetic form. These ideas are examined through lo-fi yet complex assemblages and installations that employ furniture, household electronics, video and existing artworks to formulate temporally based audio compositions. (Artist’s website)

Jennifer E. Price studied Printmaking at the University for the Creative Arts (2009) and has exhibited in solo and group exhibitions, most recently at the Hatton Gallery, Newcastle upon Tyne, as part of International Print Biennale’s 2011 Print Awards. She lives and works in Kent. In her artwork Price harnesses basic and traditional printmaking methods, and then stands them on their head, resulting in cross boundaries of printmaking, drawing, sculpture, site-based installation, and public intervention. The work addresses complex layers of material culture and the role of the visual artist in a complicated age of media. (Artist’s website)

Jason James (Director General of the Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation):

The Foundation is delighted to be hosting this exhibition, marking the second award of the Daiwa Foundation Art Prize. Launched in 2008, the Daiwa Foundation Art Prize aims to open doors for British artists in Japan, offering the winner a solo show in a top Japanese gallery, and complementing the access we provide for Japanese artists in our own gallery in London. The inaugural Prize was won by Marcus Coates, who held an extremely well-received solo exhibition at Tomio Koyama Gallery in Tokyo in November 2009, and whose career has continued to flourish on the international stage thereafter.

The Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation makes funding available across all fields to support closer links between the United Kingdom and Japan. We have a considerable track record of supporting the arts and enabling individuals and organisations from both countries to interact and cooperate on joint projects.

The Daiwa Foundation Art Prize evolved from discussions with the arts community as to how we might adopt a more proactive and innovative approach in engag-ing with contemporary art circles. Partnership with leading figures in the art world is an essential element of the Prize and we are particularly grateful to Masami Shiraishi of the Tokyo gallery scai the bathhouse for agreeing to host the solo exhibition by the winning artist this year. Shiraishi Contemporary Art Inc. (SCAI) was founded in 1989 and its gallery, SCAI THE BATHHOUSE, is a conversion of a former public bath-house in Tokyo. Mr Shiraishi has established himself over the last two decades as one of the leading figures in Japan’s contemporary art scene.

We have been gratified by the tremendous response to the Prize. This time round, there were over 700 applicants, and our expert judging panel, chaired by Jonathan Watkins, has selected artists of high calibre from all corners of the visual arts. The works by the three short-listed artists featured in this exhibition are conceptually rich and ripe for engagement with Japan. Warm thanks are due to the panel members – Jonathan Watkins (Director of Ikon Gallery, Birmingham), Martin Gayford (art critic and author), Mami Kataoka (Chief Curator at the Mori Art Museum, Tokyo), Tokyo, Grayson Perry (artist and 2003 Turner Prize winner), and Masami Shiraishi (President, SCAI THE BATHHOUSE, Tokyo) – for so generously contributing their time, energy and insights through what was inevitably an arduous and intensive selection process.

The Trustees of the Foundation join me in offering congratulations to Tom Hammick, Haroon Mirza and Jennifer E. Price. We hope that, in awarding the Daiwa Foundation Art Prize, we will not only open new doors for British artists in Japan but create valuable partnerships and opportunities for the future.

TAT to hold Miracle of Thai Food and Fruit Festival 2012

 

BANGKOK, 16 May 2012 (NNT) – The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is set to host the ‘Miracle of Thai Food and Fruit Festival 2012’ with over 40 booths selling products from across the country in order to stimulate the country’s tourism and economy.

The Miracle of Thai Food and Fruit Festival 2012 will feature Thai food from four regions, popular Thai food among locals and foreigners, as well as seasonal fruit.

CNNGo has previously ranked Thai food among the 50 most delicious dishes in the world, with Massaman Curry topping the list at number 1, followed by Tom Yum Goong at number 8, Nam Tok Moo at 19 and Som Tam at number 46. Thus, the TAT will help Thai entrepreneurs in boosting the economy by promoting food which are well-known among foreigners.

The TAT expects that the organization of this event will also stimulate the country’s tourism as well as the economy. The overall spending by the event’s visitors last year stood at 30 billion baht. Meanwhile, a 10% growth has been estimated for this year.

The Miracle of Thai Food and Fruit Festival 2012 will be held during 25-27 May at Central World.

Double bill: You and Me(short) + Lost and Found

Korean Film Nights

7PM, May 24, 2012

Multi-Purpose Hall, KCCUK

Please note that the screening scheduled for the 17th has been added to the 24th’s programme.

U and Me (2008): weight lifter So-young is in third grade of junior high and she is in the same class as Cheol-gu, who is planning to move to Australia to study there. The two teens feel uncertain about the future that they’ve chosen, but their parents just force them to go on, regardless of how they feel.

Lost and Found (2009): This film follows a trip to Chuncheon. The college student believes that she will be filled with artistic inspiration when she sleeps with the famous artist. The painter is mad at the student yet he plays along with her due to sexual temptation. The film calls it ‘bad impulse. However, the bad impulse itself is not a bad thing. That same bad impulse sometimes leads a human into the temptation of art and sometimes provides the moment of truth in the throes of lust.

TAT Launches Special Adventure Travel Website, “100 Unforgettable Experiences”

Bangkok, May 15, 2012 – Adventure travel enthusiasts seeking to try their hand at 100 Unforgettable Experiences in Thailand can log onto a new website http://adventure.tourismthailand.org and take their pick.
Thailand is an adventure traveller’s dream destination with a range of national parks bursting with flora and fauna. In recent years, adventure travel has become a high-growth segment of travel as visitors become more discerning and seek more experiences, especially those that bring them more into contact with nature.
The website covers adventure travel opportunities in 33 Thai provinces and is divided by type of activities, such as rafting, diving, elephant jungle riding, rock climbing, kayaking, canoeing, diving, spelunking, and many more. It offers tips, advice, guidelines, and information on preserving local nature and culture, as well as search and rescue facilities.
Visitors of different age groups and physical capabilities will also find something to arouse their interest. There are suggested activities for women travellers, families, senior citizens, and hard-core adventure travellers.
Richly illustrated with superb photographs and video clips, the dual-language Thai-English website categorises all activities by theme and colour, so that they can be easily found either by category or by province.
In addition to a listing of the Top 5 Destinations visited, the website has been maximised with extensive use of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) tags to allow both Thais and foreigners to trace the relevant information through the popular Internet search engines.
Visitors can share information of destinations and activities with friends and colleagues via social media. The site will be regularly updated with new information.
Along with the new website, the TAT has produced 2,000 copies of the same information in print format in Thai and 1,125 copies in English. Both books have been printed on recycled paper and use soybean ink. The book is also available in electronic format via a searchable PDF file, which can be downloaded or distributed via CD-ROM.
Mr Suraphon Svetasreni, Governor of the TAT, said, “Adventure travel has become very popular in recent years and is likely to grow in the years ahead, for both domestic and foreign visitors. We are very proud of the many adventure travel opportunities in Thailand and have designed the entire package of information to help visitors make us their first-choice destination.
“There is no doubt that it will help meet our strategic policy objective to boost our average length of stay, more evenly distribute tourism earnings around the country and make Thailand an all-year destination. Most importantly, it will help us strengthen Thailand’s brand image as a quality, value for money destination.” added the TAT Governor.

International Symposium: Climate Change and Energy Policy in a Post-Fukushima World – What does the future hold?

Date: 23 May 2012
Registration and Networking: 4.00-4.30pm
Symposium: 4.30-6.30pm
Location: DLA Piper LLP, 1 St. Paul’s Place, Sheffield S1 2JX
Attendance by ticket only. Please see below.

The March 2011 disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant exposes enduring questions about the safety and reliability of nuclear energy, the capabilities of human beings to predict and manage complex events, and the relationship between humanity and nature. The international response to the disaster has been varied; the UK position on nuclear power remains virtually unchanged, while Germany has vowed to phase out nuclear generation altogether by 2022. Japanese official policy is unlikely to phase out nuclear power entirely, but a de facto phase out appears possible.

Nuclear energy has been regarded as a failsafe method of reducing human dependence on fossil fuels and mitigating the worst impacts of climate change. What does the future hold for nuclear power in the wake of the Fukushima disaster, and what impacts will there be on plans to reduce carbon emissions and combat climate change?

Demand for places is likely to exceed supply, so attendance at this event is by ticket only.Applications for attendance must be made through the following online booking form:
https://www.eventelephant.com/postfukushima/summary.htm. Non-attendance will be charged at £15 per ticket. Event queries: events@actionforinvolvement.org.uk, Tel: 07946 453 258.

Speakers:

Dr Wakako Hironaka

Dr Wakako Hironaka is a former Member of the House of Councillors (1986-2010) and a former Vice-Chair of the Democratic Party of Japan. Among her many roles, she has served as State Minister, Director-General of the Environment Agency (1993-94), Chair of the Committee on Fundamental National Policies, and Chair of the EU-Japan Parliamentary Group. Dr Hironaka has also been active internationally, as a Vice-Chair of Global Environmental Action, Chair of GLOBE Japan, and member of the World Commission on Forests and Sustainable Development, the Earth Charter Initiative, and International Science Advisory Board of UNESCO. She currently serves as Director-General of GEA, and as a Board Member of the Energy and Resources Institute, Earth Charter Commission and PA International Foundation. She was awarded the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun by the Emperor Akihito in 2010.

Councillor Jillian Creasy

Councillor Jillian Creasy was elected as Sheffield’s first Green Party City Councillor in 2004 and now leads the Green Group on the council. She still works part time as a medical doctor (General Practitioner). She makes the links between social and environmental sustainability philosophically, politically and personally.

Jun Arima

Jun Arima is Director General of the Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO) in London, seconded by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI). From 1992 he had served in the Agency for Natural Resources and Energy (ANRE). In 1996, he was sent to the OECD as Councilor (energy advisor), to the Permanent Delegation of Japan. He served in senior positions in ANRE following his return to Japan. In 2002 he was sent to Paris and spent four years there as Head of the Country Studies Division for the International Energy Agency (IEA). His activities in international climate and energy issues have seen Arima recognised internationally, most recently as Japan’s chief negotiator at the UN Climate Talks in Cancun, Mexico in 2010.

Professor Neil Hyatt

Professor Neil Hyatt holds the Royal Academy of Engineering Research Chair in Radioactive Waste Management at the University of Sheffield. His current research programme involves: design and process engineering for the immobilisation of radioactive wastes, the behaviour of wasteform materials in conceptual disposal environments, and remediation of contaminated land. He is the author or co-author of more than 100 peer reviewed articles.

Shinichi Kihara

Shinichi Kihara has been Senior Energy Analyst at the International Energy Agency in Paris since 2009. He contributed to the in-depth analysis of nuclear power in the World Energy Outlook 2011. He previously served in the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), carrying out energy related work in the International Affairs Division of the Agency for Natural Resources in 2004 and Nuclear Power Safety Administration Division in 1998. He has diverse experience serving in other offices in the METI in the area of economic cooperation, trade, export control and others.

Teresa Hitchcock

Teresa Hitchcock is Senior Partner and UK head of Safety Health and Environment (SHE) within the Regulatory and Government Affairs group of international law firm DLA Piper. Before qualifying as a solicitor, she worked as a senior environmental and health and safety regulator in local government. Based in DLA Piper’s Sheffield office, Teresa subsequently built up the practice of what is now the national SHE team. Key areas of her recent practice have included regeneration projects, climate change law, the impact of Conservation Law on industrial operations, and a number of major health and safety investigations. For many years she has been a leading figure in the South Yorkshire Green Business Club and Teresa was recently appointed a Board Member for Sheffield First for Environment.

Event Chairman: Peter Matanle, School of East Asian Studies, University of Sheffield