Why You Should Go To Japonisms 2018 Exhibition At The Louvre
This year of 2018 is the mark of the 160th Anniversary of the Japanese and French diplomatic relationship. Consequently, it is also the century and a half that Japanese Culture has been open to the Western civilizations. If you are a Japanese Culture fan or just an art-lover or maybe just feel curious about what is going on in the other side of the world, this is a complete must-see.
We are mostly familiarized with some of the forms of art in Japanese culture such as the anime, manga, origami and traditional mosaic paintings. Japanese Art is like most art in the world, a reflection of the culture it was born in. Japanese people have always been characterized by their ability to be meticulously dedicated and prolix. Most Japanese production is very skillful and demands high precision from the artist. Whether it is painting, sculpting or even taking photographs, they always stand out for being masters at their art. Every time I attend to Japanese exhibitions, it strikes me the same way: where in the world do these men and women find the patience to do such work? These are the two artists of current Japanese art that you should not miss.
Perhaps the best-known Japanese artist today, Takashi Murakami is the creator of the term SuperFlat that is arguably the best definition for the blurring of the line that divides the high and the low art. This concept is much like the one coined by the Pop artists in the mid 20th Century. I agree with it because, to me there is nothing more rewarding than streets flooded with art.
Takashi´s work can be found in the Associate Program with an exhibition at Le Musée en Herbe about the Yokai which are the monsters of Japanese Pop Culture.
The first thing that stroke me about the current Japonisms exhibition is the mammoth throne that was placed under the glass pyramid at the Musée de Louvre when everything started. It is very hard to miss and the contours are just fascinating. It is the work of Japanese artist Kohei Nawa and it is a mash up of two almost antagonist techniques such as 3-d modeling and gold leaf covering. The throne is a wonder of modern sculpture since it was done using the latest technology and the covering is a millennium technique used by his Japanese ancestors.
Digging deeper on his work, I found some thrilling stuff like the PixCell (2009) show in which he took taxidermy objects and covered them in glass to form new sculptures. This was his way of expressing how we are all made of granular parts (atoms, cells, etc.) and also the role of the screens and the pixels that form them in the 21st century.
To see the work of these two artists and also to enjoy the very best of Japanese culture, you should really go to the Japonisms 2018 show at the Louvre. You can also check the full program here and not miss the informative talks, pop-up shows and more.