Exhibitions in Tokyo & Hong Kong (Nov 2011)

Posted on December 14, 2011 by Toothpicker There have been 0 comments

While I was in Tokyo, I went to a few exhibitions including: Irving Penn and Issey Miyake's Visual Dialogue at 21_21 Design Sight in Midtown, Metabolism: the city of the future at Mori Art Museum in Roppongi Hills and Japan's long selling products at Printing Museum in Koishikawa.

Irving Penn and Issey Miyake's Visual Dialogue was rather disappointing esp. compared to many of the previous exhibitions I have visited at the same site. The exhibition displayed photographs of Issey Miyake's designs taken by Irving Penn since 1980s. Although many of the photos are strikingly beautiful, I felt that the material wasn't enough for an exhibition... one can't help that something was missing despite their efforts to include a cartoon animation of their collaboration.

Metabolism: the city of the future at Mori Art Museum on the other hand, was excellent! This retrospective looks at the Metabolism movement that started in 1960s lead by Japanese architect, Kenzo Tange. There are drawings, sketches, videos, photographs and many architectural models... not to be missed! The exhibition ends on 15th Jan 2012.

Long selling products - Products with a 30-Year to 400-Year History at the Printing Museum was small but very interesting. It exhibited many famous Japanese products in chronological order, with a sub-exhibition on their packaging design. The most amazing thing is that many products which went on sale more than 50 years ago are still being sold in shops today and in their original packaging! It just proves that Japanese packaging designs are timeless... I also love the museum's free newsletters on printing, there are some wonderful prints and photos inside and you don't need to understand Japanese to appreciate them!

Back in Hong Kong, I went to visit the Hong Kong Museum of Art where they showed several interesting exhibitions: Cruising the universe - fantastic animals in the arts of China, Wu Guanzhong's Painting, dance and music, Johnson Chow Su-sing - A tranquil heart in art and Artistic inclusion of the East and West - Apprentice to Master. I didn't realise that there is free admission on Wednesdays, so it was quite a pleasant surprise when I got there...

Wu Guanzhong's Painting, dance and music was my favourite out of them all! Regarded as one of the most famous contemporary Chinese artist, Wu's masterly art work combined the best of East and West. Many of the paintings on display at this exhibition used visual elements such as dots, lines and planes. Some of the paintings are minimal in composition, some are abstract and colourful but they are all so unique that it is hard not to be moved by his beautiful and rhythmic paintings. The exhibition goes on until April 2012, so if you happen to be in Hong Kong, do not miss this!

Artistic inclusion of the East and West - Apprentice to Master - I think the museum's in-house design team should be applauded for their efforts in producing such wonderful exhibition catalogue! The catalogue are made up of a pack of nicely printed postcards (see above), displaying art work from the exhibition. The exhibition itself was also fascinating, it examined the flourishing Chinese export painting trade in Guangzhou in the 18th and 19th centuries. There were works of Western artists as well as 'copies' by Chinese artists using similar techniques and styles. It made me wonder about modern day counterfeiting... would this be considered as counterfeit art today? Hmm.


This post was posted in Hong Kong, Japanese designs, Tokyo, Exhibitions, Architecture, Photography, Travel, Graphics & illustrations, Art, Design, Japanese art, Chinese art and was tagged with Hong Kong, Tokyo, art and design exhibitions

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