Japanese Events in London

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Jun
21
Fri
2019
Serpentine Pavilion 2019 designed by Junya Ishigami @ Serpentine Pavilion
Jun 21 – Oct 6 all-day

The Japanese architect Junya Ishigami, celebrated for his experimental structures that interpret traditional architectural conventions and reflect natural phenomena, has been selected to design the Serpentine Pavilion 2019.

Jul
11
Thu
2019
“A Secret Beauty: The Spirit of Japanese Makie” The Lacquer Works of Koyanagi Tanekuni @ Brunei Gallery, SOAS
Jul 11 – Sep 21 all-day

“A Secret Beauty: The Spirit of Japanese Makie” The Lacquer Works of Koyanagi TanekuniThe artist’s first exhibition outside Japan of Lacquer works by the contemporary craftsman Koyanagi Tanekuni in the Brunei Gallery, SOAS.

There will be a Study Day on lacquer with specialist lectures, workshop, and gallery talks during the exhibition.

The exhibition aims to promote a better understanding of the craft tradition in Japan, the material lacquer, and the technique of Makie. Koyanagi uses the traditional technique of Makie, but creates objects in innovative modern design that appeal to the contemporary taste. The artist is keen to show how these objects are used in everyday life of Japanese in contemporary society.

Open: Tuesday – Saturday: 10:30 – 17:00
Late night Thursday until 20:00
Closed: Sundays, Mondays and Bank Holidays

Aug
22
Thu
2019
EXHIBITION: Anno’s Journey: the World of Anno Mitsumasa @ Japan House, London
Aug 22 – Oct 27 all-day

Image: © Anno Mitsumasa. Courtesy of Anno Art Museum.

Anno’s Journey: the World of Anno Mitsumasa Exhibition at Japan House London

This exhibition explores the work of Anno Mitsumasa, one of Japan’s greatest children’s book illustrators and authors, who is best known for his picture books, with few or no words, published from the late 1960s onwards. The display illustrates the story of Anno Mitsumasa’s life and creative journey, features a reading library with many of Anno’s 300 published books, introduces Japanese language for children and beginners, and explores Anno’s remarkably varied work.

Additionally, the Embassy of Japan will host a more extensive exhibition of Anno’s landscape paintings in August-September.

Admission Free

*Opening hours may vary depending on events, so please check our website on the day of your visit

Sep
5
Thu
2019
Erika Kobayashi: His Last Bow @ Yamamoto Keiko Rochaix
Sep 5 – Nov 21 all-day

Erika Kobayashi “In My Hand— The Fire of Prometheus”, 2019

The first showing of the Japanese artist Erika Kobayashi in the UK. The exhibition explores her family history strangely intertwined with the discovery of uranium, radioactivation, invention of atomic bomb, and Sherlock Holmes.

Erika Kobayashi is a singular artist: she moves seamlessly to and from a wide range of media for her creation; manga, novels and visual art, always with strong messages to convey. The themes across her media of choice stay constant — things that are invisible, time, history, family, memory, and traces of places — but she treats the core concept with distinctive approaches for each medium in ways that can be only done with that particular medium. A natural story teller, in manga and novel the artist builds the case with layers and webs of relatable anecdotes, often conjuring up space and time, slowly drawing in the readers and makes the point. In visual art Kobayashi is more direct, almost confronting audience with bold images that lay out the issues in front of them and ask questions; it is all about the power of image.

Curated by Hikotaro Kanehira, the upcoming exhibition comprises photographies, short video, drawings and other materials that feature short stories. But again, it is the eclectic mix of media and unusual combination of photographic and video images, figurative drawings and verses, that construct Kobayashi’s unparalleled universe that is also a peculiar amalgam of what are loosely defined as ‘art’ and a wide scope of popular culture, which may be a mirror image of what we are in today’s world.

Image:

Erika Kobayashi “In My Hand— The Fire of Prometheus”, 2019 C-print 43.2cmx35.6cm © Erika Kobayashi, Courtesy Yutaka Kikutake Gallery, Photo: Kasane Nogawa

Erika Kobayashi (b.1978, Tokyo)

lives and works in Tokyo.

Recent solo exhibitions: “1F in the Forest of Wild Birds” Yutaka Kikutake Gallery, Tokyo (2019), “Trinity” Karuizawa New Art Museum, Nagano (2017). Group exhibitions include: “Image Narratives: Literature in Japanese Contemporary Art” The National Art Center, Tokyo (2019), “Women Imagining Rooms: About the Diary of Lady Sarashina” Ichihara Lakeside Museum, Chiba (2019), “Roppongi Crossing 2016: My Body, Your Voice,” Mori Art Museum, Tokyo (2016); “Living Locally –Reconsidering Critical Regionalism,” ARTS MAEBASHI (2015), “Your Dear Kitty, the book of Memories,” collaboration with The Future, Lloyd Hotel and JCC, Amsterdam (2015), and “The Radiants,” Bortolami Gallery, New York (2015). Residency with the Asian Cultural Council, NYC (2007-2008).

Nominated for the major literature awards including Mishima Yukio Award and Akutagawa Award both in 2014 for her novel “Breakfast with Madame Curie”. Other publications include: “Hikari no kodomo LUMINOUS (Children of Light: Luminous)” volume 1 and 2, (2013 and 2016) “Your Dear Kitty” (2011).

Kobayashi’s father is a psychiatrist and a Sherlockian, Tsukasa Kobayashi.

Click here for the artist website.

Yamamoto Keiko Rochaix
19 Goulston St, London, E1 7TP
Visit the website

Sep
10
Tue
2019
Japan Tide @ Leyden Gallery, 9 Leyden St, London E1 7LE
Sep 10 – Sep 21 all-day

The Leyden Gallery will hold a solo exhibition of the works of two Japanese artists, Jun Nishizaki and Hirofumi Kawamura. This event is part of our ongoing project to provide visitors with opportunities to explore the aesthetics and spirituality of Japanese culture.

Sep
12
Thu
2019
Anime’s Human Machines @ The Barbican
Sep 12 – Sep 25 all-day

Japanese animation has embraced robotics, cybernetics and artificial intelligence as major themes. More interestingly, it uses these themes to explore complex moral and social questions: humanity’s responsibility for its actions, response to the other, greed, short-termism, failure to care for the ecosystem that sustains us.
This anime film season examines the challenge of the man-machine interface through eight films, running 12 – 30 September, on various aspects of humanity’s response to technological change.
All films will screen in Japanese with English subtitles.

Anime’s Human Machines is an Official Event of the Japan-UK Season of Culture 2019-2020, presented by the Barbican in association with the Japan Foundation, and has been kindly supported by Wellcome and The Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation.

Sep
17
Tue
2019
Japan Tide presents Hirofumi Kawamura @ Leyden Gallery
Sep 17 – Sep 21 all-day
Japan Tide presents Hirofumi Kawamura @ Leyden Gallery

The series of exhibitions which focus on beauty of Japanese artworks will be held at Leyden Gallery in East London, where the central place of the contemporary arts.
Don’t miss this rare opportunity to see and feel this unique exhibition. The final week of this series will be a photography exhibition by an artist who was born from Tokushima who has been taking his photos for over fifty years.
Don’t miss this rare opportunity to see and feel this unique exhibition.

■ Profile – Hirofumi Kawamura■
Born 1961 in Tokushima Prefecture. Influenced by his father and aunt, KAWAMURA took an interest in photography as a preschool child. In the fourth grade, he saved up money to get his first camera. That small camera served as a starting point for his career as a photographer, and from the age of 20, KAWAMURA’s career began, and he expanded his activities both in Japan and overseas, presenting solo shows and displaying pieces in exhibitions. Initially, KAWAMURA worked to deepen his own perspective, while focusing on the simple styles of natural beauty. As seen in works from the 2000s onwards, such as Fairy of the Forest (2000), Light of God (2002), and The Essence of Life (2007), KAWAMURA began adding written text to express metaphors about vitality and mystical existence. This approach was also used in later series such as the Planet of Letters (2014), (based on Japanese origami motifs) and the Cranes of Peace (2015-2016) series, and KAWAMURA’s works developed to feature a strong message. Of particular note, KAWAMURA’s piece Origami Universe (2015), became a topic of discussion at Expo Milano 2015, and the following year a solo show was held in Paris. The Japanese ambassador to France visited the exhibition, and upon seeing the works, showed great interest in how the pieces displayed an important link between Japanese and French culture. In recent years, KAWAMURA is working on new approaches, such as with the Empty can & Sunflower (2017) series, constantly experimenting with expressions that praise life and pray for peace.

■ Exhibition duration / Opening reception■

Tuesday, 17 September – Saturday, 21 September 2019
*Opening reception : 18:30~21:30 ,Tuesday, 17 September 2019
Sushi and drinks including ‘Mio’ sparkling sake will be served.
■Theme of the exhibition■

– Eyes of seeking Peace –
Hirofumi KAWAMURA pursues his own unique method of photographic expression by making full use of light dynamics. KAWAMURA’s eye gleams from deep within the lens to capture the minute spark of a small life such as a bud sprouting in a bottle or the cast-off shell of a cicada. All of these are caught to practically create a fertile image that defines the moment of our planet’s birth. A prayer for peace, universal expression, the surprising image of Japan’s nature–KAWAMURA’s photographs go beyond their limits to vividly convey the breath of life and various emotions. On the other hand, his photographic works take advantage of composition making full use of blank space (suggestiveness) and Japanese-style sensitivity such as beautiful silhouettes that call to mind ink-wash paintings. His works have received high praise from abroad including New York and Paris. For this exhibition, he will be introducing two new works for his “Empty Can & Sunflower” series based on the September 11, 2001 coordinated terrorist attacks in the United States. Focusing on the “Cranes of Peace” series which are based on a motif of newspaper articles and constitutional text, 27 works will be on display which communicate a deep spirituality that will shake the hearts of viewers with their straight messages. We hope you enjoy the prayer for peace captured from KAWAMURA’s viewpoint.

Sep
20
Fri
2019
Japanese avant-garde and experimental film festival 日本アバンギャルド映画祭
Sep 20 – Sep 22 all-day

Tickets are now on sale for JAEFF 2019: Nation!

This year’s festival will be held at the Barbican Centre, Close-Up Film Centre and MetFilm School from Friday 20 September through Sunday 22 September. JAEFF 2019: Nation will see five feature-length films screened alongside seven short-form films. We will again be hosting a panel discussion at the Barbican, and are very excited to announce a free filmmakers’ workshop at the MetFilm School.

More info & tickets here

Sep
29
Sun
2019
Japan Matsuri @ Trafalgar Square, London
Sep 29 @ 10:00 am – 8:00 pm

London’s very own festival of Japanese culture – Japan Matsuri – returns on Sunday, 29 September 2019 in Trafalgar Square in the centre of the city. A regular fixture now in the London calendar, this free annual festival brings people together to enjoy Japanese food, music, dance, and activities for all the family.

The concept of the theme this year is “Future generations”.

Everything kicks off at 10.00am and runs through till 8.00pm. With two stages, there is plenty to see all day. The programme of stage performance for this year is still being finalised and will feature exciting new acts as well as the return of favourites from previous Matsuri.

Enjoy the atmosphere with Japanese festival food from the numerous stalls. Join in the fun in the family activities area with games and dressing in kimono. Try your hand at Japanese cartoons on the manga wall.

Japan Matsuri is organised jointly by the Japan Association, Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Japan Society and Nippon Club, with support from the Embassy of Japan.

Oct
3
Thu
2019
Artist Talk: Naoya Inose in conversation with Dr Lena Fritsch @ Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation
Oct 3 all-day
Artist Talk: Naoya Inose in conversation with Dr Lena Fritsch @ Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation

The artist Naoya Inose will discuss his work and exhibition The Post-Anthropocene with Dr Lena Fritsch, Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Ashmolean Museum (University of Oxford).

The new geological era the Anthropocene, which means “the age of humanity”, defines the epoch we live in, and it is a time of significant human impact on Earth’s geology, ecosystem and climate. What kind of influence will humanity bring to this new geological age? Is the age of humanity in fact the history of time itself?

The main work in this exhibition, Ave Maria, depicts a Ferris wheel quietly enshrined in a huge cave. This Ferris wheel left by humans is a metaphor of humanity itself and it slowly rotates, climbing up and plunging down from top to bottom. Indeed, the Ferris wheel embodies the time constraints by which humanity is bound; it just constantly repeats its circular movement.

If life and death are the motif of the Ferris wheel, the Ferris wheel in the work Ave Maria has stopped, and time restrictions no longer exist. It has become an onlooker that quietly stares out of the cave. It is as if it is expecting slowly to become part of nature without being exposed to the sunshine.

IMAGE CREDITS: Himawari, 2019, Oil, acrylic on canvas, 30 x 65 cm, © Naoya Inose