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World Rugby Museum adult ticket £12.50. Concessions available.
Music in Ukiyo-e figured in many ways – through the act of listening or playing, or through music’s place in relation to a depicted character, perhaps a theatre actor or a geisha. These prints illustrate scenes of music making or scenes containing musical elements that are drawn from everyday life and from various Kabuki and Noh plays featuring stories of the past.
Japanese Gallery Kensington presents a collection of Ukiyo-e featuring musical instruments and those who were part of the world of entertainment. Prints by Utamaro Kitagawa, Yoshitoshi Tsukioka and Chikanobu Yoshu, amongst others, offer and insightful view into the world of traditional music and its importance in the visual culture of Japan during the Edo and Meiji periods.
The ukiyo or floating world was a domain of theatre and music, containing within it the idea of carefree existence, living for the moment and relishing in the aesthetic aspects of being. Music in Japanese visual culture also functioned as an important accompaniment and endorsement of beauty, playing a significant role in portraits of actors and women.
These print could be enjoyed audibly as much as they could visually and were designed to evoke the music associated with a given character’s identity. The emphasis was not so much on recalling the plot, but on remembering how one experienced the sound and feeling of the drama.
Beauty prints captured a similar sentiment. Those who could afford the company of geisha and courtesans wished to recall their experience. These women were regarded as the epitome of art and beauty and the presence of music highlighted their talents. In a sense, beauty in a geisha was incomplete without musical accompaniment.
Manga is a visual narrative art form that has become a multimedia global phenomenon, telling stories with themes from gender to adventure, in real or imagined worlds.
Immersive and playful, the exhibition will explore manga’s global appeal and cultural crossover, showcasing original Japanese manga and its influence across the globe, from anime to ‘cosplay’ dressing up.
This influential art form entertains, inspires and challenges – and is brought to life like never before in this ground-breaking exhibition.
Japanese singer-songwriter Ichiko Aoba coming back to London as ichiko aoba qp European Tour 2019!
Born on 28 January 1990. She started playing guitar at the age of 17 and debuted her first album,”Kamisori Otome” (Razor Girl), at the age of 19. Since then, she has released several original albums, the latest work is “qp” released in 2018, after the domestic tour she carried out her third Asian tour. Besides her own solo work, she has collaborated with other musicians such as Haruomi Hosono, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Keigo Oyamada and U-zhaan.
The colourful and disarming artworks by the Japanese pop painter Hikari Shimoda will intertwine with the emotional and poetic Street Art by the Italian Millo, filling up Dorothy Circus Gallery’s walls. The intense dialogue between their artworks highlights their unique representation of adolescence and modern youth.
The Japanese artist Hikari Shimoda paints using bright colours and illustrative techniques that combine brushstrokes, lettering and collage. Her work is uniquely made by a juxtaposition of horror and sweetness, a dichotomy that perfectly reflects today’s society. Stareyed children are a direct quote to the superhero child of the Manga culture, and their desire and strength to grow to protect all the children of the world from violence and loneliness. At the same time these characters also reveal the uncertainty and fragility of their own future and that of a tainted and lost childhood.
Hikari Shimoda will be attending the Opening event on 14 June 2019. FREE: RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org to attend.
Visitors is an ongoing series of portrait characters by Ushiki Masanori, who is regarded as a cult figure in the art world of Japan and, much like his predecessors Yoshitomo Nara and Takashi Murakami, Ushiki’s aesthetic centres around diverse themes of childhood and contemporary media. Visitors was born on Ushiki’s Instagram timeline on August 13th 2016, and faithfully he continues to post a new character once a day, every day. From sci-fi monsters to beautiful angry alien girls, Ushiki’s Visitors pay tribute to the many expressions and characters the artist met throughout his youth, familiar hallmarks from popular culture that resonate with our collective consciousness.
Ushiki is a rising star with the ability to capture aspects of anime, manga or Tokusatsu (live-action anime) and to re-mix these elements into a fantasy world of creatures that delight the eye and tickle the senses. Equally so, his sophisticated linework and monochrome palette captures the preposterous with a complex elegance.
In his debut European exhibition, Pocko Gallery will be home to Ushiki’s characters throughout the summer and copies of the book, Visitors, will be available to purchase at the exhibition.
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
OPENING RECEPTION: 1 August Thu 18:00-20:00
SPECIAL OPENING: 3 August Sat 12:00-18:00
VMR – Vanessa Milito Rodriguez – is an Italian-Colombian artist born in Milan, Italy. She has become fascinated with the traditional Japanese tattoos, Irezumi, which then led her to the discovery of Ukiyo-e woodblock prints. In 2016 she moved to Paris, France, where her love for Ukiyo-e and Japanese culture has grown even further as Paris is the birthplace of the ’Japonisme’ art movement.
The title ‘Lost in Transition’ is inspired by Sofia Coppola’s movie ‘Lost in Translation’. The preparation for the exhibition took place in France, as well as during Vanessa’s first solo trip to Japan. The ‘transition’ exists in discovering and comparing what she had always imagined about Japan, and what she actually saw and experienced there.
This exhibition celebrates the mix between the traditional Japanese culture and the modern pop culture. The artworks are inspired by the works of Ukiyo-e masters, such as Hokusai and Hasui. The dominant colours are blue and pink – the blue of the Hokusai’s waves and the pink of the neon lights of Shibuya, Tokyo.
The exhibition showcases mostly watercolour paintings, which introduce colourful and carefree objects inspired by Japanese folk toys, like Inu Hariko and Daruma, but also the artist’s own interpretation of Bijinga, beautiful women, created with a mix of Japanese markers, Chinese ink and Posca paint, as well as woodblock prints created during her recent stay in Japan.
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.
*Opening hours may vary depending on events, so please check our website on the day of your visit
Grimeborn Opera Festival
8pm 23rd August
3pm 24th August
8pm 24th August
Origami and music. A multi-media opera installation. Verity Lane‘s two-part project draws on her 10 years’ experience of living in Japan, exploring classical Japanese traditions with a uniquely avant-garde twist.
A brand-new performance project with music, stories and concept by Verity Lane, Origami Soundscapes: Flower, Bird, Wind & Moon explores ancient symbolism and Japanese birdsong, featuring a large-scale origami performance by Coco Sato, percussion, shakuhachi and storytelling.
The Crane reimagines a Japanese folk story about a magical crane that takes human form, set around Hokkaido’s Otowa Bridge. This mystical opera installation explores traditional Japanese aesthetics through a blend of Noh theatre conventions, traditional and contemporary dance, avant-garde music and animation.
Sung in English and Japanese without surtitles.
Music and Libretto (English and Japanese) by Verity Lane
Supported by Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation
Verity Lane/music, words, creative directer
Coco Sato/Giant Origami
Born in Tottenham and spending nearly a decade in Japan, visual artist, composer and writer Verity Lane specialises in creating highly visual performance installations for traditional Japanese instruments. and beyond.
Her recent multi-media projects include A Thousand Bamboo in a Dancing Wind (performance installation for 300 shakuhachi, 2 dancers, projection and performance poetry, commissioned by The World Shakuhachi Festival, held at Goldsmiths, 2018), Yugenism: Animated Soundscapes of the Japanese Sublime (supported by Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation and Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation), and Japanese Sandscapes: The Tale of Mt Fuji where she worked with artists including Ko Ishikawa (sho/Reigakusha), Etsuko Takezawa (koto/shamisen) and Kaho Aso (traditional Japanese dance/kotsuzumi). Both projects saw Lane launch herself within London’s avant garde music scene, selling out venues across London.
Coco Sato is an award-winning Japanese artist based in the UK. Her work uses origami to change the way people see the world.
Mirei Yazawa is a performance artist based in London.
Beibei Wang is a genre defying percussionist based in London.
Tomoko Komura is a London based performer from Japan, trained at the London International School of Performing Arts with an MFA in Lecoq-based Actor-Created Theatre (2006). She has performed and toured in shows by award-winning theatre companies such as Theatre Ad Infinitum (Ballad of the Burning Star), Theatre Témoin (Jukai) and Out of Chaos (Out of Chaos).
Kiku Day is a shakuhachi player based in Denmark.
Hester Dart is a London based contralto and graduate from the University of Leeds. They study with Prof. Neil Baker and are currently finishing their second year at the Morley College Opera School. Hester is particularly interested in promoting the work of
LGBTQ+ composers and musicians. They would like to contribute towards a more inclusive and accessible environment within classical music and opera.
Rowan O’Brien is a renowned animator and 3D artist from the West Coast of Ireland. He mixes sketches, objects, computer animation, and video in his work. He has screened and exhibited work across Europe, South Korea and Japan, where he lived and studied Japanese fabric craft known as oshie.