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.

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.

Yayoi Kusama Curator Talk by Frances Morris

24 May 2012 from 6.30pm

The Japan Foundation, London

Yayoi Kusama, with a career spanning over half a century, is undoubtedly one of the most prolific Japanese artists of her generation. From paintings to installations, her considerable body of work is very diverse, reflecting her own hybrid identity. Kusama is now Japan’s most prominent contemporary artist and presenting her work to an international audience represents an exciting and ambitious curatorial challenge.

Frances Morris, Curator and Head of Collections (International Art) at Tate Modern has conceived and led a major exhibition project to bring Kusama’s work to Tate Modern. Her long relationship with Kusama and her work has culminated in the major retrospective, Yayoi Kusama, (8 February – 5 June 2012). At this special talk event, Morris will explore Kusama and her work, considering her relevance and significance on both a global and a UK scale. Guiding the audience through her curatorial process, she will map out the exhibition from conception to completion, also reflecting on her own personal journey with Kusama, having had the opportunity to work closely with her and really get under her skin as an artist.

This promises to provide a fantastic complement to the exhibition, offering a refreshing and dynamic perspective, and an opportunity to meet the curator behind what is arguably currently the most talked-about international show in London.

This talk event has proved so popular since being announced that unfortunately it is now only possible to register to be placed on the waiting list.

To register for the waiting list, please e-mail event@jpf.org.uk with your name, details and those of any guests.

This event is organised in association with Tate Modern.

Nippon Connection 2012

12TH JAPANESE FILM FESTIVAL NIPPON CONNECTION

From May 2nd to 6th, 2012, you are invited to experience the various facets of Japanese culture in a program that tries to reject ordinary standards. Many of the 142 films are presented as international premieres in Frankfurt am Main and can be watched outside of Japan only at these screenings. In addition, the event offers workshops, parties, exhibitions, lectures, performances, and much more that attracts our visitors besides cinema. Nippon Connection doesn’t seek to guide your view but wants to diffuse it and avoid fixed stereotypes in order to foster openness, interest and tolerance. You are invited to join and watch beyond the screen, to explore and to celebrate a vivid exchange of cultures both with the organisers and with many guests from Japan.

PROGRAM

TICKETS

BLOG

Book Launch: Obtaining Images – Art, Production and Display in Edo Japan by Prof Timon Screech

 

24 April 2012 from 6.30pm

The Edo period (1603–1868) witnessed one of the great flowerings of Japanese art. Towards the mid-seventeenth century, the Japanese states were largely at peace, and rapid urbanization, a rise in literacy and an increase in international contact ensued. The number of those able to purchase luxury goods, or who felt their social position necessitated owning them, soared. Painters and artists flourished and the late seventeenth century also saw a rise in the importance of printmaking. Obtaining Images introduces the reader to important artists and their work, but also to the intellectual issues and concepts surrounding the production, consumption and display of art in Japan in the Edo period. Rather than looking at these through the lens of European art, the book contextualizes the making and use of paintings and prints, elucidating how and why works were commissioned, where they were displayed and what special properties were attributed to them.

Timon Screech is Professor in the History of Art at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, and, concurrently, Permanent Visiting Professor at Tama Art University, Tokyo. He is the author of several books on Japanese history and culture, including Sex and the Floating World: Erotic Images in Japan, 1700–1820 (Reaktion, 1999) and The Shogun’s Painted Culture: Fear and Creativity in the Japanese States, 1760–1829(Reaktion, 2000). Tim Clark, Keeper of Japanese Art at the British Museum will act as discussant at this event.

This event is presented in partnership with Reaktion Books, with this book having been awarded a grant under the Japan Foundation Support Programme for Publication on Japan.

 This event is free to attend but booking is essential. To reserve a place, please e-mailevent@jpf.org.uk with your name, details and those of any guests.

Trees, Small Fires and Japanese Joints by Edward Allington

19 Apr 2012 to 25 May 2012

Monday – Friday, 9:30am – 5:00pm

the Japan House Gallery

Professor Edward Allington, Head of Graduate Sculpture at the Slade School of Fine Art, will present a series of drawings of trees, small fires and Japanese joints. Some are based upon the famous screen by Kano Eitoku (1543 – 1590), Cypress Trees, now in the Tokyo National Museum, some from other Japanese prints, some from observation, and others from comic books and a children’s guide to Japanese carpentry.

Drawing has always been important to Allington. He collects volumes of ledgers, once used by companies for their financial records. Most are leather-bound and on extremely high quality paper. The entries, some faded, are in neat and formal manuscript. Allington draws over the rows of figures and texts, which add a layer of their own history to his ideas for sculpture or sculptural diagrams. Allington says, “Sometimes the information on the paper gives me ideas as to how the drawing might develop. But the main reason [I use ledger paper] is because these are records of everyday life. I want there to be a contradiction between my illusionistic style of drawing and the paper. If you read the writing on the paper, you have to ignore the drawing, and if you want to read the drawing, you have to ignore the writing.

 

Professor Edward Allington was born in 1951 in Troutbeck Bridge, Cumbria. He studied at Lancaster College of Art, Central Saint Martin’s School of Art and Design, and the Royal College of Art. Allington came to prominence in the early 1980s when his work was included in influential group exhibitions such as Objects and Sculpture at the Institute of Contemporary Arts (1981) and The Sculpture Show at the Hayward Gallery (1983). Since then he has exhibited widely in America, Japan and throughout Europe, and is represented in major national and international collections such as the Tate Gallery and Victoria and Albert Museum in the UK, and the Aichi Prefectural Museum in Japan. He was a Sargant Fellow at the British School in Rome (1997) and a Gregory Fellow in Sculpture at the University of Leeds (1991-93). He is a regular contributor to art magazines such asFrieze, and a book of his collected essays, A Method for Sorting Cows, was published in 1997. Allington is Head of Graduate Sculpture at the Slade School of Fine Art, University College London.

Coriolanus: A Talk by Globe to Globe Festival Director Tom Bird

5 April 2012

4:30 – 5:30pm, followed by a drinks reception to 6:30pm

Daiwa Foundation Japan House

Chiten theatre company brings the first ever Japanese production to Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, a unique event in the history of Japanese art in the UK.

This celebrated company from Kyoto works under the direction of one of Japan’s most imaginative artists, Motoi Miura. Known for its minimalist and avant-garde vision, the company produces an expressive theatre rooted in the exploration of words, sound and the human body. Originally formed in Tokyo, Chiten moved to Kyoto in 2005. Under the directorship of Motoi Miura, the company is particularly celebrated for its highly contemporary stagings of the works of Chekhov.

Coriolanus is Shakespeare’s greatest political play. The competing claims of democracy and aristocracy are conveyed in harsh and stony language and with relentless speed and single-mindedness. At its heart, however, there unfolds a personal tragedy of one man’s emotional blindness.

Coriolanus is one of the productions within Globe to Globe – all 37 of Shakespeare’s plays in 37 different languages in a kaleidoscopic, six-week festival at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. The Globe to Globe Festival starts on 21 April 2012, with Coriolanus being performed by the Chiten theatre company on 21 and 22 May. For more information, visit: http://globetoglobe.shakespearesglobe.com.

Tom Bird, Director of the Globe to Globe Festival at Shakespeare’s Globe, will discuss his job over the last one and a half years of putting together the world’s largest and most ambitious Shakespeare festival – including the challenges, adventures and characters he’s encountered on the way. In particular he will discuss his travels in Japan and the Globe’s relationship with Chiten in a special event held at Daiwa Foundation Japan House.

Tom Bird

Tom Bird is Director of the Globe to Globe Festival at Shakespeare’s Globe. In producing the festival, he has travelled the world from Armenia to Zanzibar in search of Shakespeare. He has worked for the Globe since 2007. Previous employment includes work for the ground-breaking physical theatre festival Aurora Nova at Edinburgh and for a number of music groups, most notably the Northern Sinfonia. Tom’s roots are in the north-east, and as a playwright he is a regular contributor to Live Theatre’s Short Cutsevents in Newcastle. His short play Kaz and the Cootswas recorded for the BBC Radio 3 Free Thinking Festival in 2009. He was educated at the universities of Edinburgh and Copenhagen.

BOOKING FORM

The Appeal of Mino Washi

2 April 2012

6:00 – 7:30pm, followed by a drinks reception to 8:00pm

Daiwa Foundation Japan House

Mino washi (traditional Japanese paper from Mino City) has a proud tradition of more than 1,300 years and has a fine fibre texture that is highly regarded as beautiful and robust. Mino washi is made from the raw materialkozo (a native Japanese mulberry tree), and carefully processed without the use of chemicals with skilled craftsmen using traditional and time honoured processes, such as drying out in the sun.

Satoshi Hasegawa is an artisan manufacturing paper in Mino City in Gifu Prefecture. The technique he uses to make washi, is a traditional process native to the Mino region using domestic materials. His main product is the high quality ‘Usu Mino Thin Paper’ which is widely used to repair ancient cultural treasures such as manuscripts and texts in art galleries and museums at home and abroad.

Upon receiving a commission from the Ruthin Craft Centre where his skills are highly valued, Mr Hasegawa has supplied the centre with 600 sheets of Mino washi for the creation of a sculptural space at the exhibition,Japanese Style: Sustaining Design. The exhibition will take place at the Ruthin Craft Centre in Wales from 1 April to 24 June 2012 (www.japanseasonwales.com).

Mr Hasegawa believes “Paper in itself may just be a material, but it is my ongoing mission to continue and develop this work, and to connect the tradition with the next generation”.

This special event at Daiwa Foundation Japan House will begin with opening remarks from Mr Kazuyoshi Kano, Vice Mayor of Mino City and Mr Akira Watanabe, Executive Director, Department of Industry Promotion, Mino City.

Satoshi Hasegawa

Satoshi Hasegawa was born in 1964. In 1991, he studied under the late foremost craftsman of Minowashi, Kozo Furuta, who was dedicated to making traditional papermaking for more than fifty years. Hasegawa established his own studio in 1993. In 2003 he was designated by the Japanese national body The Association for the Promotion of Traditional Craft Industries as a “traditional craftsman”.

Zoë Howard

Zoë Howard graduated from the University of Brighton in 2011 with a BA (Hons) in Fine Art Printmaking. She developed a deep interest in Japanese art and culture, in particular washi, after a study exchange to Nagoya University of Arts, Japan in 2010. Since then, she has completed an artist in residence at the Mino Paper Art Village Project, exploring ideas of light and space, movement and stillness through the manipulation of handmade Mino washi. She is currently based in London and is continuing to develop work using Japanese paper.

Japanese from Scratch: Let’s Eat Japanese Food!

28 March 2012 from 6.00pm

The Japan Foundation London (later moving on to a local Japanese restaurant)

Get a flavour of the Japanese language while enjoying authentic Japanese food!

Japanese from Scratch is a new Japanese language and culture workshop from the Japan Foundation London, suitable for those who are interested in learning Japanese but haven’t started yet, or those who have just started learning.

This month’s workshop theme is “Let’s Eat Japanese Food!”

The course will teach you to:
:: Identify different kinds of Japanese food, by their correct Japanese name
:: Exchange simple greetings in Japanese and say basic phrases with appropriate manners
:: Use chopsticks correctly and elegantly
:: Eat Japanese food like a connoisseur

In this workshop, you can learn how to:

  • Identify different kinds of Japanese food, by their correct Japanese name
  • Exchange simple greetings in Japanese and say basic phrases with appropriate manners
  • Use chopsticks correctly and elegantly
  • Eat Japanese food like a connoisseur

The course will be led by Seiji Fukushima, Chief Japanese Language Advisor at the Japan Foundation London. Instructions and explanations will be in English. Please click here for more information, including the timetable.

The course fee is £20.00, which includes an authentic Japanese meal at a London restaurant. This must be paid in cash on the day of the event. Please note that the dishes served at this event are representative of typical Japanese cuisine, and vegetarian options are limited.

Advance booking is essential. This workshop is limited to 25 people – first come, first served.

The deadline to apply is March 21st.

For more information click here.

Principles of Beauty and Form in Japanese Architecture

28 February 2012, from 6.30 pm

The Japan Foundation, London

Japanese architecture, whether it is traditional or modern, is believed to share common principles of beauty and forms that are indigenous to Japan. Influenced by and interacted with various landscapes, the principles have been expressed in many architectural structures in Japan.

In this special lecture, Dr Teruaki Matsuzaki, architecture historian, currently teaching at the ICS College of Arts and the Science and Engineering department of Meiji University Tokyo, will introduce the various principles of beauty and form that have informed Japanese architecture over the centuries, showcasing three distinguished types of examples such as “suspended forms” built in the mountains, “floating forms” constructed on the sea, and the form with the concept of “Ma” in the flatland. He will then explore how these principles are also embodied in the most recent Japanese architecture designed by notable architects including Tadao Ando and Kazuyo Sejima, and what pros and cons they may bring.

This event will extend beyond a simple overview, instead promising to delve into what lies at the heart of Japanese architecture, and perhaps go some way to explain what it is that makes it so particularly distinctive.

A Sociology of Japanese Youth: From Returnees to NEETs

A Sociology of Japanese Youth: From Returnees to NEETs

27 February 2012

6:00 – 7:00pm, followed by a drinks reception to 8:00pm

Daiwa Foundation Japan House

Organised by the Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation

Over the past thirty years, at the same time as Japan has produced a diverse set of youth cultures – such as animeand manga – which have had a major impact on popular culture across the globe, it has also developed a succession of youth problems which have led to major concerns within the country itself.

This volume looks at some of the best-known of these problems, from the concern over the so-called returnee children (kikokushijo) in the 1970s, to the panic over young girls selling themselves for sex (enjo kōsai) in the 1980s, to the debates over physical punishment (taibatsu) and child abuse (jidō gyakutai) in the 1990s, to the most recent issues of young people shutting themselves away in their room (hikikomori) or appearing to withdraw completely from both the education and the labour market (NEETs).

Drawing on detailed empirical fieldwork, the authors set these issues in a clearly articulated ‘social constructionist’ framework that explains why particular youth problems appeared when they did and what lessons they can provide for the study of youth problems in other societies.

Professor Roger Goodman

Professor Roger Goodman is Nissan Professor of Modern Japanese Studies and Head of the Social Science Division at the University of Oxford. His case studies in this volume draw on two of his monographs: Japan’s International Youth: The Emergence of a New Class of Schoolchildren (Oxford University Press, 1990) and Children of the Japanese State: The Changing Role of Child Protection Institutions in Contemporary Japan (Oxford University Press, 2000).

Yuki Imoto

Dr Yuki Imoto is Assistant Professor at Keio University, Japan, where she teaches English and social science methods. Her research interests lie in the social anthropology of education, language and childhood. She is currently writing a book on the emergence of ‘international’ preschools in urban Japan.

Tuukka Toivonen

Dr Tuukka Toivonen is Junior Research Fellow at Green Templeton College, University of Oxford. He currently investigates Japanese young workers’ motivational processes, social entrepreneurship and related policies from a comparative angle. Tuukka is the author of Japan’s Emerging Youth Policy(Routledge, forthcoming) and an active member of his college’s “Future of Work” programme.

BOOKING FORM

Hyper Japan 2012

Hyper Japan 2012

HYPER JAPAN 2012 Spring will be held on Friday 24, Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 February 2012 at Brompton Hall at Earls Court. Join us at the UK’s biggest J-culture event.

Event 2012

Friday Saturday Sunday
10-11
11-12
12-13
13-14
14-15
15-16
  • 15:30 History of Cosplay with Helen McCarthy
16-17
17-18
18-19
19-20