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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.
Legendary manga artist Keiko Takemiya gives an exclusive talk this August!
Keiko Takemiya is arguably one of the most influential manga artists in Japan. Starting her career as an artist in late 1960 while still a teenager, her fame rapidly grew to stardom. This reached a new height in the 1970s when she became a seminal member of “the Fabulous Year 24 Group” – a new wave of female authors that revolutionised manga by developing new drawing techniques and introducing unconventional subject matters to the genre of girls’ manga, such as science fiction, fantasy, as well as boys’ love. Takemiya’s representative manga, The Poem of Wind and Trees (1977-80), which has sold nearly 5 million copies so far, is praised by critics and readers alike as a monumental work that laid the foundation for the rapidly growing genre of boys’ love within manga. In addition to her creative work, Takemiya has been a great advocate of preserving this nation-specific graphic art form as a cultural asset and was the first manga artist in Japan to be elected as President of an academic institution.
During this very special talk and in a rare appearance Takemiya, in conversation with comics historian Paul Gravett, will discuss her extensive career as one of Japan’s leading manga artists, and her inspirations behind iconic works such as To Terra… (1976-84) which shaped the precedent for female manga artists to create stories for a young male readership. Reflecting on the development of the narrative art form in Japan, she will also review what manga has meant to her and the society at large.
Image Credit: ©To Terra…, KeikoTAKEMIYA
This event is held in collaboration with Foyles Bookstore.
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.
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.
Yamamoto Keiko Rochaix
19 Goulston St, London, E1 7TP
Visit the website
Join us on the second Monday of each month for the Japan Society Book Club. The intention is simple: to explore the themes of the book, express personal opinions on the style and content, discuss how the book has changed (or not) in translation and to have a relaxed discussion with others who have similar interests.
There is no restriction on the nationality of the authors read, but books should be available in translation in both Japanese and English. The discussion is conducted mainly in English, but you can choose the language in which you read the book.
Visit the website to see which book will be the focus each month.
Please contact the Japan Society office on tel: 020 3075 1996 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org to book a place on any of our events. When emailing, please include the event title in the subject line.
Alternatively you can book online via our online booking form.
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. First week will be an oil painting exhibition by Nara (West of Japan) based artist who portraits mysterious beauty in his own style.
Don’t miss this rare opportunity to see and feel this unique exhibition.
■ Profile – Jun Nishizaki■
A resident of Nara Prefecture, NISHIZAKI has created several portraits that are noble and abundant with a mysteriously unique beauty that has earned him numerous fans both at home and abroad. Attracting the attention of many, his style is said to that of “a painter who depicts the deepest depths of the human heart like Egon SCHIELE, who played an active role in Vienna at the end of the century.” 2015 saw the publishing of “Jun NISHIZAKI Portfolio -Angels-“. He has held several personal exhibitions including exhibitions at The Ueno Royal Museum (Tokyo) in 2016 and the Galerie Lehalle (Paris) in 2017.
■ Exhibition duration / Private view reception■
Tuesday, 10 September – Saturday,14 September 2019
*Private view : 18:30～21:30 ,Tuesday, 10 September 2019
(please register: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/jun-nishizaki-japan-tide-exhibition-tickets-69974296003)
Sushi and drinks including ‘Mio’ sparkling sake will be served.
■Theme of the exhibition■
-The Truth of Life Reflected in the Eyes –
Through the depiction of the rawness of his own life, Jun NISHIZAKI is a painter who communicates an attitude towards life to all who view his works. In every person he draws whether it be the Virgin Mary, an angel or a little girl, there is a uniquely unearthly atmosphere that drifts counter to their beauty, producing an eye-catching world of danger that quietly impacts the hearts of viewers. NISHIZAKI does not seek the pleasure of cheap beauty from a picture, but continues to pursue the raw truth by thoroughly maintaining a posture to depict that which lies deep within the human heart. Art critic and French literary scholar Takao NAKAMURA (professor at the Tama University of Arts) has this to say about NISHIZAKI—”There is a loftiness to the works of NISHIZAKI. That is because he demands the pure density of raw life even as he suffers as an artist. That is why no matter what he draws, it will always be a self-portrait of Jun NISHIZAKI’s soul.” The almost dangerous innocent sensitivity that is hidden behind the mysterious beauty will immediately attract the eyes of the many and speak deeply and directly into each heart. Captivated by the unearthly atmosphere of NISHIZAKI’s works, people will be reminded of the real intention of beauty in art. We hope that you will enjoy the almost cruel but beautiful and noble world of art as depicted by Jun NISHIZAKI.
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.
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.
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.