Monthly Archives: April 2015

Admission is free to all on Friday nights, 6-9 pm

Life of Cats:<br>Selections from the Hiraki Ukiyo-e Collection


Life of Cats:
Selections from the Hiraki Ukiyo-e Collection

Friday, March 13 — Sunday, June 7

Image: Tsukioka Yoshitoshi (1839–1892),Looking Tiresome: The Appearance of a Virgin of the Kansei Era (detail) from the series Thirty-two Aspects of Customs and Manners, 1888. Color woodblock print; 22 ½ x 16 inches. Courtesy Hiraki Ukiyo-e Foundation.

Since arriving in Japan aboard Japanese ships transporting sacred Buddhist scriptures from China in the mid-sixth century, cats have proceeded to purr and paw their way into the heart of Japanese life, folklore, and art. Life of Cats: Selections from the Hiraki Ukiyo-e Collection illustrates the depth of this mutual attraction by mining the wealth of bravura depictions of cats to be found in ukiyo-e woodblock prints of the Edo Period (1615-1867). The exhibition is divided into five sections: Cats and People, Cats as People, Cats versus People, Cats Transformed and Cats and Play. 90 ukiyo-e prints in the exhibition are on loan from the esteemed Hiraki Ukiyo-e Foundation whose holdings are revered in Japan. Select prints, paintings, sculptures, and other works borrowed from U.S. collections complement these prints, making the exhibition over 120 artworks. With cross-cultural and multi-generational appeal, Life of Cats takes viewers on a wild ride through Japan’s love affair with our feline friends.

Roughly 50 items will be replaced with new works halfway through Life of Cats—Rotation 1 will be on view from March 13 until April 26; Rotation 2 will be on view from April 29 until June 7.

Visit our Gallery page for more information.

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Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum: On Kawara—Silence

Through radically restricted means, On Kawara’s work engages the personal and historical consciousness of place and time. Kawara’s practice is often associated with the rise of Conceptual art, yet in its complex wit and philosophical reach, it stands well apart.

On Kawara’s paintings were first shown at the Guggenheim Museum in the 1971 Guggenheim International Exhibition. Over 40 years later this large exhibition will transform the Frank Lloyd Wright rotunda—itself a form that signifies movement through time and space—into a site within which audiences can reflect on an artistic practice of cumulative power and depth.

Time: Until May 3
Admission: Adults: $25
Students and Seniors (65 years +) with valid ID: $18
Children under 12 and Members: Free
Details: Museum Website / Exhibition Website

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Panel Discussion Friday, April 24, 6:30-8:30pm @ Columbia University

My Camera Doesn’t Lie? Documentary Aesthetics in East Asia

April 24 – May 21, 2015
Columbia University
116th St & Broadway, New York, NY 10027
Free and open to the public

The relationship between art and documentary is complex and evolving. Focusing on the rich history of art in East Asia, this informal panel and screening series will attempt to open a larger discussion, by inviting scholars across disciplines to examine a selection of works and to consider the series of questions.

These questions will address the relationship between truth and fiction in exposing ‘the real’, the position of ‘documentation’ in art, artists’ access to tools, the particular social and political conditions from which this work emerges, and the way this hybrid work may challenge official narratives and the history of art in the region. Consideration will also be given to issues of institutional collection and display.

The screening program will include selections by Toshio MATSUMOTO (b.1932, Japan), WANG Jianwei (b.1958, China), CHEN Chieh-jen (b.1960, Taiwan), Sung Hwan KIM (b.1975, Korea), and ZHOU Tao (b.1976, China). Acknowledging the concept of truth as a construct, these works are far from indexical representations of reality. Rather, they fluidly traverse multiple media and creative practices — video, photography, performance, conceptual art and documentary modes — to question the relationship between fact and fiction, art and society, and to investigate history, politics and the economy.


Panel Discussion

Friday, April 24, 6:30-8:30pm
Columbia University, Schermerhorn 612

ScreeningToshio Matsumoto, Nishijin, 1961
35mm transferred to HD video, 26′, B/W, sound, Japanese with English subtitles
Distributed by Postwar Japan Moving Image Archive

Panelists include:
Nico Baumbach (Assistant Professor of Film, Columbia University)
Barbara London (Independent curator, writer, and critic, Yale University, formerly Associate Curator at the Museum of Modern Art)
Christopher Phillips (Curator, International Center for Photography)
Glenn Phillips (Curator, Modern and Contemporary Collections, Getty Research Institute)
Eugene Wang (Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Professor of Asian Art, Harvard University)

Introduced by John Rajchman (Adjunct Professor, Department of Art History and Archaeology, Columbia University), and moderated by Jane DeBevoise (Chair, Asia Art Archive, Hong Kong and New York)

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Fourth Annual Cherry Blossom Festival, Saturday, April 25, 11:00 am – 5:00 pm

Updates‎ > ‎

Fourth Annual Cherry Blossom Festival, Saturday, April 25, 11:00 am – 5:00 pm

posted Apr 14, 2015, 6:38 AM by Admin Rira   [ updated Apr 15, 2015, 6:28 AM ]

Celebrate the beauty of Roosevelt Island’s spectacular cherry blossom trees with community events sponsored by Roosevelt Island Residents Association.

11:00 am – 1:00 pm Cherry Blossom Walk, led by the Roosevelt Island Historical Society, beginning at RIHS Visitor Center Kiosk. Suggested donation $10.
The following events are FREE.
Southpoint Park
11:00 am – 1:00 pm Community Picnic. Bring your own food and blanket. Food and beverages will be sold at food trucks.
FDR Memorial Four Freedoms Park
1:00 pm Shamisen (Kicho Kai) Japanese String Ensemble
1:30 pm Japanese classical Dance (IchiFuji-kai Dance Association)
2:00 pm Samurai Swordsmanship (Iaikai)
2:25 pm Karate (JKA Karate Shiroma)
3:05 pm Koto (Masayo Ishigure and Koto Shamisen Ensemble)
3:40 pm Japanese blues (Kayo Yoshioka of Neo blues maki)
4:15 pm Japanese Taiko Drummers (Sohdaiko)
Gallery RIVAA
3:00 pm Japanese Ink Painting Workshop (open to all ages)
4:25 pm Gerald Starlight (Japanese flute)

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Monkey Business: Issue 5 Sun May 3, 4:00PM at Bookcourt in Brooklyn

Join Monkey Business International editors Motoyuki Shibata, Ted Goossen, and Roland Kelts and they celebrate the release of MBI Issue 5 with some of the journal’s contributors.

About Monkey Business:

Monkey Business International is the in-translation offspring of the Tokyo-based magazine Monkey Business, which was founded in 2008 by Motoyuki Shibata, one of Japan’s most highly regarded men of letters.

Author Bio(s):

Ben Katchor is a highly esteemed cartoonist whose books include Julius Knipl, Real Estate Photographer: The Beauty Supply District (translated into Japanese), The Cardboard Valise and Hand-Drying in America. His picture stories appear in Metropolis. The latest issue of Monkey Business contains two episodes from his Shoehorn Technique. He is an Associate Professor at Parsons The New School for Design in New York City. For more about Katchor click here.

Satoshi Kitamura is an award-winning picture-book artist and illustrator. His books include When Sheep Cannot Sleep: The Counting Book, Millie’s Marvelous Hat, and Lily Takes a Walk. He has worked with numerous artists and poets, especially with poet John Agard, with whom he has collaborated on a number of books including The Young Inferno and Goldilocks on CCTV. Kitamura has contributed to the latest issue of Monkey Business (5) “Variation and Theme,” a graphic narrative inspired by a Charles Simic poem. For more about Kitamura click here.

Aoko Matsuda is one of Japan’s most promising young Japanese novelists. She has published two collections of short stories and has also translated Karen Russell’s St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves. Among English translations of her work are “Photographs Are Images,” translated by Jeffrey Angles and included in the current issue of Monkey Business (5), as well as “Smartening Up,” translated by Polly Barton in the online edition of the literary magazine Granta. To read an excerpt of Matsuda’s work click here.

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Consortium for Japan Relief is holding a talk session on “Long-term Health Issues” (April 21st, 4:30 PM)

[Event] Consortium for Japan Relief is holding a talk session on “Long-term Health Issues in Fukushima, A Case Study” on coming Tuesday.

We will have wonderful professionals and students to talk about the current healthcare issues in Fukushima.
Please join us for the conversation!

The Speakers:
– Dr. Shin-Ichi Niwa, Executive Administrator, Fukushima Prefectural Hospitals Office and a member of the Board of Kokoro-no Care Nagomi
– Kazuma Yonekura (Mental health nurse), Director, Kokoro-no Care Nagomi, Mental Health Care Center
– Dr. Masako Mori and Dr. Shizuko Kame Barnes, Japanese Mental Health Network in NY
– William Anderson and Miyuki Shimizu, Nishimiya Fellows Program

Time: April 21st, 4:30 PM
Place: Columbia University School of Social Work C03

*Please show your ID at the security desk and take the elevator to C floor.
*Please note that the time is different from the last two sessions.

For more information about our 2015 Lecture Series, please visit
NYJAPAN311.ORG. We encourage you to register on our website or through
this link:

Yumiko Murai's photo.
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J-culture events @ Roosevelt Island Cherry Blossom Festival on April 25th

RESOBOX's photo.

1:00 – 1:20 Shamisen (Kicho Kai)
1:30 – 1:50 Japanese classical Dance ( IchiFuji-kai Dance Association )
2:00 – 2:20 Samurai Swordsmanship (Iaikai)
2:25 – 2:45 Karate (JKA Karate Shiroma)
3:05 – 3:25 Koto (Masayo Ishigure and Koto Shamisen Ensemble)
3:40 – 4:00 Japanese blues (Kayo Yoshioka from Neo blues maki)
4:15 – 4:35   Soh Daiko

Some students from our Samurai Swordsmanship and Stick Fighting class will be performing for Roosevelt Island Cherry Blossom Festival on April 25th at 2 pm. The festival will be held at the Four Freedoms Park. Free admission. (the photo is from the festival held two years ago).

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10×10’s Shashin Zine Fest NYC

10×10’s Shashin Zine Fest NYC

Sample photography zines from 10x10 Shashin Zine Fest

10×10’s Shashin Zine Fest NYC

Opening Reception: Saturday, April 18, 2015 7:00 – 9:00 PM | Admission: Free

(Please RSVP to

Exhibition Duration: April 18 to April 26, 2015

All zines available for purchase. Prices range $5 to $20.

Exhibit Overview

Organized by 10×10 Photobooks in association with Shashin: Photography from Japan, 10×10’s Shashin Zine Fest is an outgrowth of 10×10 Photobooks’ ongoing commitment to projects that bring together diverse photobook communities. The zine fest is a dynamic and entertaining reading room that will pop-up for one week at the RESOBOX Gallery in Long Island City, inviting New York visitors to experience the real flavor of what is currently happening in Japan. It’s a great opportunity to introduce to U.S. shores a multitude of new zines and their creators, many of which have never before been seen outside of Japan. With its relaxed environment, readers are encouraged to peruse the zines at their leisure, and should they fall in love with one, all zines will be available for purchase, with average prices ranging from $5 to $20, permitting everyone the chance to take home a unique piece of hip and happening art from Japan.

IN THE PRESS 10×10’s Shashin Zine Fest NYC Press →

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Japan Society: Upcoming Theater Performances

Continuing with its 2014-15 Performing Arts Series and Stories from the War series that marks the 70th Anniversary of the end of WWII, Japan Society is pleased to offer two theater presentations from Japan.

The first is Michiko Godai’s powerful one-woman play Yokohama Rosa (April 25-26) which portrays the life of one woman tossed and turned by war and offers a unique look into post-war history. The second is a Noh Theater performance (May 14-16) offering works from the new and traditional repertoire.

1. Michiko Godai, Yokohama Rosa

Travel through time with legendary actress Michiko Godai in Yokohama Rosa, an intimate portrait of a woman whose life was forever changed by WWII. In this original one-woman tragicomedy inspired by a mysterious old woman frequently sighted on the streets of Yokohama and known by locals as “Merii-san,” Godai transforms on stage from a vulnerable young woman to a confident streetwalker, a love-sick middle-aged woman and finally, a frail but compassionate homeless lady. Performed annually in Yokohama on the anniversary of the end of WWII in Japan, Godai’s captivating piece reveals the war’s deep and lasting consequences on the most personal level. Performed in Japanese with English subtitles.

Tickets: $35/$28 Japan Society members

Times: Saturday, April 25, 7:30 PM
Sunday, April 26, 2:30 PM


2. New and Traditional Noh: Holy Mother in Nagasaki & Kiyotsune

Explore Japan’s time-honored noh theater in a rare double bill that offers plays from the modern and traditional repertories. The evening features the poignant new play Holy Mother in Nagasaki, in which a pilgrim learns about the legend of a woman, surmised to have been the Virgin Mary, who appeared to console the victims of the atomic bomb. Kiyotsune, one of Zeami’s (1363?-1443?) masterpieces, is offered as a companion piece. This centuries-old noh play tells the story of  a grieving widow who meets her warrior husband in a dream to learn of his final battle. Performed in Japanese with English subtitles.

Led by noh actor Kanji Shimizu; Featuring members of the Church of St. Francis Xavier Choir, New York; Presented in assistance with Tessen-kai Noh Theater Association.

At 6:30 pm each night there will be a Pre-Performance Lecture led by Dr. Tom Hare, Professor of Comparative Literature at Princeton University. Free and open to ticket holders only.

Tickets: $62/$52 Japan Society members

Times: Thursday, May 14, 7:30 PM
Friday, May 15, 7:30 PM
Saturday, May 16, 7:30 PM


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J-Collabo : Spring Festival

J-COLLABO is presenting its first Spring Festival on Saturday April 18th with an exciting variety of workshops and performances including Shakyo Meditative Writing, Origami,contemporary dance, collaborative art and RAKUGO, Japanese traditional sit-down comedy and more.

These workshops and multidisciplinary art showcases have been curated by J-COLLABO to demonstrate the beauty and versatility of contemporary Japanese art and performance.

Guests will enjoy collaborative art performances by Yukari Osaka (Dance), Jun Ando (Koto), Misaki Matsui (Video/Film); Yuka Omori and Humberto Texiera (Contemporary Dance); CHIELA (Song) and Toma (Dance); Japanese RAKUGO performance by Sansyo Nakamura from Japan. Rakugo is a Japanese storytelling art that has been a form of entertainment for over 400 years and has recently experienced a comeback with Rakugo venues increasing across Japan. While performing, a Rakugo artist wears a kimono, sits on a small cushion, and uses only two small props – a Japanese fan and a hand towel – which can be used to imitate various acts such as smoking, eating noodles, and preparing a letter. The Rakugo artist will play any number of characters in a given story, for example a samurai, geisha, merchant, or drunk. These characters can be said to represent qualities within all of us, parts of the human personality.
Also event partner, Saiko Project/Live Music Showcase will present Kaoru Watanabe (Taiko Drums and Bamboo Flutes).

With such a vibrant and diverse selection of contemporary Japanese artists, the J-COLLABO Spring Festival promises to be an entertaining and culturally enlightening experience for everyone.


Date: Saturday, April 18th

Time: 1:00pm-8:00pm

Location: 300-302 7th street (between 4th and 5th avenues), Brooklyn, NY 11215

Suggested donation: $20

Website / Official Facebook Page
Click through for detailed schedule.

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