Japanese Events in London

Submissions welcome! Japan-related event in London to add? Just click the green ‘+ Post Your Event’ button. It’s free, & easy to do.

Private View: Setsuko Ono @ Daiwa Foundation Japan House
Feb 15 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Private View: Setsuko Ono @ Daiwa Foundation Japan House | England | United Kingdom

In 2018 Japanese artist Setsuko Ono will bring her work to London for the first time, with two consecutive solo exhibitions.

Ono creates steel sculptures characterised by their cut-out shapes, forming open and closed figures and designs. The cut-out silhouettes are bent in an animated way, while the cut-out negatives let sunlight and views of nature through. These delicate sculptures are created from sheets of steel welded by Ono herself.

Inspired by meeting her musical hero John Cage as a teenager, and watching his silent performance 4’33”, the artist works with little in the way of planning, detailed blueprints or preliminary drawings. Setsuko Ono’s recent work also includes mixed media paintings that reflect her interest in international politics.

Ono’s exhibition at the Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation in February will be followed by a show at Asia House in March 2018. Both London exhibitions will include sculpture and mixed media paintings, and visitors will be able to use virtual reality goggles to experience Ono’s permanent installations in Japan – in Shinagawa, Tokyo, and at Hara Museum ARC in Shibukawa, Gunma Prefecture.

For all press enquiries and interview requests please contact Leighanne Murray at Midas PR.| leighanne.murray@midaspr.co.uk | 020 7361 7860

At the event, the artist will sign catalogues.

Exhibition dates: 16th February – 9th March 2018

Private View: Thursday 15th February 2018, 6-8pm

Artist Talk: Friday 23rd February 2018, 6pm

Booking required: http://dajf.org.uk/exhibitions/setsuko-ono/private-view-setsuko-ono

Image: Acropolis Down Under and Rising Moon, 2015, Steel © Setsuko Ono. Photo: Tom Petzwinkler

Address: Daiwa Foundation Japan House, 13/14 Cornwall Terrace (outer circle), Baker Street, London, NW1 4QP.

Genta Ishizuka: Membrane @ Erskine, Hall & Coe
Feb 21 – Mar 22 all-day
Genta Ishizuka - Membrane

Genta Ishizuka – Membrane

Erskine, Hall & Coe is pleased to present Membrane, the first European exhibition of lacquer artworks by Japanese artist, Genta Ishizuka.  The exhibition will comprise 21 works and will be viewable from the 21st of February through the 22nd of March 2018.

Born in Kyoto in 1982, Ishizuka currently lives and works in Kyoto City.  He earned a BFA from Kyoto City University of Arts, during which time he participated in an exchange program at the Royal College of Art, London in 2006.  Most recently, he graduated with a MFA in Urushi Lacquering from Kyoto City University of Arts in 2008.

Speaking of the meaning behind the title of his exhibition, Ishizuka explains

I believe “membrane” is a word that is connected to both my production method that utilizes elastic cloth, as well as the sense of envelopment given by applying the urushi, in the way it covers the whole work like a skin. This word that is used with animals, plants and other organisms also has an affinity with the organic material of urushi, and can mean a kind of skin, connoting physicality.

Ishizuka’s work has received international recognition and awards, and is included in the permanent collections of the Minneapolis Institute of Art and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

A catalogue accompanying this exhibition will include an essay by Rupert Faulkner, Senior Curator at the Victoria and Albert Museum, and the show will be fully illustrated on our website on the day it opens.  The exhibition will be viewable Tuesday – Saturday, 10:00 – 18:00 and will be free to attend.

Admission Free

Photos by Daido Moriyama & Seiji Kurata @ Barbican Art Gallery Level 3
Feb 28 – May 27 all-day
Even though there's no sign of any customers.... near Ikebukuro, Hikarimachi Ohashi, 1975. From the series Flash Up, 1975 -1979 ©Seiji Kurata. Collection of Mark Pearson, Zen Foto Gallery

Even though there’s no sign of any customers…. near Ikebukuro, Hikarimachi Ohashi, 1975. From the series Flash Up, 1975 -1979 ©Seiji Kurata. Collection of Mark Pearson, Zen Foto Gallery

Barbican Art Gallery presents Another Kind of Life: Photography on the Margins, featuring photography from Daido Moriyama and Seiji Kurata.

Yayoi Kusama: Small Pumpkin Paintings @ Omer Tiroche Gallery
Mar 2 – Jun 1 all-day
Yayoi Kasuma, Small Pumpkin Paintings © Omer Tiroche Gallery, Photography by Tom Carter.

Yayoi Kasuma, Small Pumpkin Paintings © Omer Tiroche Gallery, Photography by Tom Carter.

“I was enchanted by their charming and winsome form. What appealed to me most was the pumpkin’s generous unpretentiousness. That and its solid spiritual base.” (Yayoi Kusama)

Omer Tiroche Gallery will kick off their 2018 programme with an exhibition dedicated to small- scale pumpkin paintings by Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama. This will be the first time that this small body of work will be displayed together in the UK.

Kusama experimented with her first pumpkin works in the 1940s while studying Nihonga – a traditional form of Japanese painting – at the Kyoto School of Arts and Crafts. Although she quickly left behind this delicate style in pursuit of the avant-garde, the pumpkin remained with her. She exhibited Mirror Room (Pumpkin) at the 1993 Venice Biennale and, from this point, her obsessive use of this motif intensified – the repetition being interpreted as an attempt to control her fears.

One of Kusama’s best loved and most iconic motifs, the pumpkins are the visual embodiment of her childhood as well as her present psychological state. She describes these paintings as a form of self-portraiture, magnifying mirrors in which to ‘confront the spirit of the pumpkin, forgetting everything else and concentrating [her] mind entirely on the form before [her]’.

Omer Tiroche comments, I am thrilled to be able to present this collection of intimately sized works all together in one space. For Kusama, the pumpkin itself has so much autobiographical significance, relating to her youth when her family would survive primarily off pumpkin dishes. At the same time, though, when you examine the paintings up close you can see that they are comprised of an amalgamation of two motifs that she has revisited throughout her career: the obsession, dots and infinity nets. These small objects are so individually beautiful and we are very excited to be able to offer them for sale.

Whether dwarfish or gargantuan, Kusama’s pumpkins are instantly recognisable. The flatness of infinity net backgrounds combined with the 3D optical illusion of the polka-dot patterns perfectly illustrate Kusama’s conflicted world: the push and pull between desire and escape, simultaneously imprisoned by reality and locked out of it. Kusama’s pumpkin image is that of the Japanese Kabocha squash, severed at the stalk. It continues to grow and ripen even though it is disconnected from the earth.

This important exhibition allows for a closer study of these small-scale pivotal works, now shown together in one gallery space.



Tokyo 東京 – Ordinary people in Tokyo streets @ Sway Gallery London
Mar 15 – Mar 28 all-day
Tokyo 東京 - Ordinary people in Tokyo streets @ Sway Gallery London | England | United Kingdom

A photography exhibition by Gerard Touren
15-28 MARCH 2018
Opening hours MON-FRI 11 AM 7 PM 
Opening reception 15 March THU 6PM-8 PM

« In the streets of Tokyo, I did my best to engage with a population so different from all that I knew until then, and to spontaneously overcome the potential distance between me and my subjects, without compromising my quest for the “unusual” and “light” in my images. I did not fully manage to ‘erase’ this distance, as the respect of rules and the “other” prevail above all else for Tokyoites. 
Every single one of them, while moving in an incredibly conformed flow, appear like a solitary fragment of an expanding whole in constant motion, ignoring a confusing mix of lighting, audible announcements and flashing signs… hardly noticing the camera of a lost and unlikely westerner. »

G. Touren
This exhibition at Sway Gallery London is a selection of Gerard Touren’s photographies of Tokyo. This is a double selection that puts the emphasis both on the subject of the image, and also the technical quality. In this way, the dual regard of this exhibition bridges our cultures.
Gerard Touren is a photographer living in Paris

After great success in Les rencontres d’Arles in July 2016 and Sway Gallery-Paris June 2017, this exhibition is finally coming to Sway Gallery London.

A photography exhibition by Gerard Touren

15-28 MARCH 2018 Opening hours MON-FRI:11AM-7PM / Weekend: Appointment only

Opening reception 15 March THU 6PM-8 PM

MIYU KURIHARA Solo Exhibition @ Sway Gallery
May 3 @ 11:00 am – May 19 @ 11:00 am
MIYU KURIHARA Solo Exhibition @ Sway Gallery | England | United Kingdom

3rd – 19th MAY 2018
Opening Hours: Mon – Fri: 11am – 7pm
Sat (19 May only): 11am – 5pm
Opening Reception: 3rd MAY, 6 – 8pm (Please book your place for the opening reception via https://bit.ly/2Ejzvxz)

Miyu Kurihara is a Japanese artist who makes hand-painted ceramics. She draws upon her heritage when creating her ceramic pieces; inspired by both Japanese kimono design and traditional Asian ceramics. All pieces are made by hand and individually drawn with intricate detail.

Having learned brush techniques and textile design in Japan and London, she incorporates these skills into her work, and uses traditional blue and white porcelain craftsmanship techniques that originated in China and Japan.

Kurihara’s work is especially influenced by Chinese ceramics from the Ming dynasty. She often visits the British Museum and the Victoria & Albert Museum to study their blue and white porcelain collection. Inspired by the depiction of animals and mythical beasts in classic works, her own work consists of a study of classic motifs combined with her original geometric patterns. In this exhibition, in addition to Kurihara’s signature blue and white porcelain works, she will also present her most recent works using new glazes and materials.


Born in Frankfurt, Germany in 1989, Miyu Kurihara grew up in Germany and Japan, and lives and works in London. She received her BA in 2014 from the Department of Product and Textile Design, Tama Art University, Japan, and her MA in 2016 in Textile Design from the Chelsea College of Arts, University of the Arts London, London.


Looking forward to seeing you here!


Private View: Double Method by Tokyo Rumando×Hideka Tonomura @ Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation
May 10 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Private View: Double Method by Tokyo Rumando×Hideka Tonomura @ Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation | England | United Kingdom

Collaborating together for the first time, Tokyo Rumando and Hideka Tonomura are at the cutting edge of an exciting and groundbreaking generation of new photographers working in Japan today. Despite using very different methodologies, these two women photographers share the same interest in mapping intense psychological subjects to deconstruct the framework that links the past to the present.

Rumando works primarily through self-portraits , and has made several series of nudes, often using an experimental method involving montage. Relentlessly turning the camera on her self-image, Rumando provokes the emergence of an unforeseen “other side” from the depths of her own inner experience, while revealing and exploring connections between her own daily life and the labyrinthine underworld of Japanese “Love Hotels”.

Tonomura had committed to an unflinching account of both mundane and epic moments of her own life, exemplified by the staggering photographic record of her mother’s love affair, and intimate images of her own life working as a bar hostess. Tonomura’s work condenses and crystallises individual prosaic moments, often isolating them in contemplation on their implicit savagery and cruelty. Doing so, Tonomura uses her camera to capture and project an extreme and distorted vision of an uncontextualised, unhinged reality, highlighting the artist’s vengeful attitude towards herself.

Using photography to confront basic and instinctive key human issues, both Rumando and Tonomura continually reverse expectations and take their audiences into complex and moving interior spaces through their emotionally engaging practices.The two photographers participate in a fictitious dream, based on a shared optimism about the potential for art to transcend the problems of daily life.

Exhibition Dates:
11–28 May 2018, Monday–Friday 9.30am–5pm, Admission free

Artist Talk: Thursday 17 May 2018, 6pm
The artists will be joined in conversation by Dr Simon Baker, Director of the Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris.

About the contributors:

Tokyo Rumando (b. 1980, Tokyo) worked as surgical and psychiatric nurse, stripper and model for photographers, including Nobuyoshi Araki. She started using an instant camera as a teenager, using it to supplement her income as a dancer by selling to customers the polaroids taken during her shows. Based on her experiences modeling for movies and magazine, she started photographing herself in 2005. Her photography came to the public’s attention when her debut work Rest 3000~, Stay 5000~ was published by Zen Foto Gallery, Tokyo in 2012, followed by Orphee in 2014, and selfpolaroids in 2017, also by Zen Foto Gallery. Orphee was included in the group exhibition “Performing for the Camera” at Tate Modern in 2016. In the same year, Taka Ishii Gallery, Paris, France hosted Rumando’s first solo exhibition in Europe, I’m Only Happy When I’m Naked.

Hideka Tonomura (b. Kobe, 1979) graduated from the Broadcasting and Filmmaking Department of Visual Arts Osaka, before starting her career as a photographer in 2002. Tonomura’ s major solo exhibitions include They Called Me Yukari / mama love (Zen Foto Gallery, Tokyo, 2013), mama love (trunk gallery 82, Seoul, 2011), Tonomura Hideka Shageki-0305- (Uplink, Tokyo, 2005), and Unlucky Family (Nikon Salon, Tokyo&Osaka, 2004). Her works have been part of several group exhibitions, including two consecutive editions of FOTOFEVER, Paris, France, in 2014 and 2015. Her photographs have been published in mama love (AKAAKA Art Publishing, 2008), They Called Me Yukari (Zen Foto Gallery, 2013) and orange elephant (Zen Foto Gallery, 2015).

Free, booking essential.

RIGHT: “orphee U3”, 2014, gelatin silver print © Tokyo Rumando
LEFT: “They called me Yukari #23”, 2012, gelatin silver print © Hideka Tonomura

The Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation
Daiwa Foundation Japan House
13/14 Cornwall Terrace (Outer Circle)
London NW1 4QP

TUKURU – Japanese design and made @ Sway Gallery
May 22 – May 24 all-day
TUKURU - Japanese design and made @ Sway Gallery | England | United Kingdom

3 leading UK based Japanese makers come together to present TUKURU at the Sway Gallery exclusively for Clerkenwell Design Week 2018.
Ceramics Ikuko Iwamoto MA RCA, metalsmith Kei Tominaga MA & mix media artist Naori Priestly MA RCA will be presenting collections and their interpretation of TUKURU – the Japanese word for Create.

Ikuko Iwamoto MA RCA (Ceramics)
‘TUKURU means to create, however, it could have broader translations including to cook, to brew, to grow, etc. (All depends on the Chinese letters you apply with it). My background is a farmer who creates crops. My new collection will incorporate old everyday farming tools into my sculptures’.


Kei Tominaga MA (Metalsmith)
When the hands are working, shapes always appear so that “Creating” means “Moving hands” for me. Growing up I was immersed in the environment where always some materials and creating around in my childhood since my mother’s dressmaking work. I was watching how the materials turn into the things/ product and playing with the pieces of material like paper, cloth, string which I can find easily. I still use everyday material as motifs as it’s concept or texture, reflecting those ideas on the metal and creating works by my hands.


Naori Priestly MA RCA (Mixed Media Artist)
My approach for this group show focuses on a rather cynical way. Tukuru is also meaning of ‘pretend something’. In English, many words feature a silent/magic ‘e’. Likewise, in Japanese some typographic symbols pretend to be words and work like word in the sentence. She has been curious about this creature like symbols.


Two these makers will be demonstrating their making skills throughout CDW (please see essential information for event times). This will be one of the very few showcases to display contemporary high-end craft during CDW 2018. All work is available to purchase and welcome bespoke commissions.

Essential Information
TUKURU at Clerkenwell Design Week 2018
Dates: 22-24 May: 11:00am – 19:00pm daily
Location: Sway Gallery, 70-72 Old St, London EC1V 9AN


Press Brunch: Tuesday 22 May. 11am – 1pm
**An exclusive viewing of TUKURU and chance for you to meet all three makers over Japanese tea and nibbles. RSVP essential via: info@sway-gallery.com**

Private view: Tuesday 22 May. Sake-based cocktail served between 18:00pm – 20:30pm

Drinks receptions: Wednesday 23 May 18:00pm – 20:30pm

Maker demonstrations – Free entry
22 May 4pm to 5pm // Naori Priestly
Modular Origami demonstration
Naori Priestly will demonstrate using paper folding techniques to make 3D structure with paper.
23 May 3.30 pm to 4.30 pm // Ikuko Iwamoto
The Dotty-decoration by Ikuko Iwamoto
Ikuko Iwamoto will decorate the cup by applying dots with syringe-like tool with porcelain slip.

About Clerkenwell Design Week
This May will see the ninth edition of Clerkenwell Design Week (CDW) take place from May 22-24th 2018. As the annual focus for London’s leading design district, the festival programme has been created to reflect the unique nature of this vibrant London hub which is home to a plethora of creative businesses, design consultancies, showrooms and architectural practices. 2018 will again play host to hundreds of design-led fringe events, showroom presentations, workshops, talks and public-facing installations. Activities will run over three days and follow a
distinct trail north to south from Spa Fields down to Farringdon.

Press Contact (for images and invitations):
Louisa Pacifico
Future Icons // www.futureicons.co.uk
+44 (0) 7838102031

MCM Comic Con London @ Excel London
May 25 – May 27 all-day

London MCM Expo 2018‘MCM Comic Con events are the UK and Ireland’s and most exciting pop culture shows, and the only UK based shows that bring together such a broad scope of popular culture categories including; Movies, Gaming, Comics, Anime, Television, Gadgets, Clothing and Toys.

We aim to put on the best consumer shows for the modern pop-culture market. Our show floors are packed full of activity from live eSports matches and cosplay celebrations to experiential opportunities inspired by the movies and brand new releases of your favourite games to play.
On top of all that we have the awesome Comic Village area for independent comic artists, VidFest for upcoming YouTube stars, PopAsia to revel in all things Asian inspired and Memorabilia, our collector haven. Our theatres also play host to exclusive screenings and panels of special guests, all whom take part in photograph sessions and signings throughout the weekend.
MCM Comic Con is THE destination event to celebrate all things pop-culture, it is not to be missed by any geek, nerd, cosplayer, or fan boy and girl!’

Japan Tide presents Hiroko Inoue & Kishu Miyata @ Layden Gallery
May 29 – Jun 2 all-day
Japan Tide presents Hiroko Inoue & Kishu Miyata @ Layden Gallery | England | United Kingdom

A cultural exchange project, Japan Tide launches its first art exhibition series in the UK which focus to works of Japanese female artists around seventies at a gallery based in Liverpool Street.

During the first week, the exhibition shows the works of two artists, Hiroko Inoue and Kishu Miyata. As for Inoue, who has been involved in fashion and textile, she mixes Acrylic paint and pastels to create to show her own creation of fantastic world. As for Miyata, she has been trained since young child to be Japanese Ink Artist and recently, she launched her own art by using glass fibre which has been highly acclaimed around the world.