Japanese Events in the UK - Autumn 2018


From Japanese arts, crafts and photography to music, film and theatre, there's a bit of something for everyone this season across the UK.

In Search of Forgotten Colours @ Toshiba Gallery, Victoria & Albert Museum, London, 2 August 2018 - 27 January 2019

In Search of Forgotten Colours - Yoshioka Sachio

In 1988, master of colour Yoshioka Sachio succeeded as fifth-generation head of the historic Somenotsukasa Yoshioka dye workshop in Kyoto. A renowned textile dyer, Yoshioka’s exclusive use of plants and other natural materials to produce a spectrum of beautiful colours stays true to his family’s beliefs and practices since the late-Edo period (early - mid-1800s).

‘In Search of Forgotten Colours’ showcases Yoshioka’s pursuit to revive ‘forgotten’ colours like those found on textiles preserved in the 8th-century Shōsōin Imperial Repository in Nara, and also features four short documentary films exploring the fascinating world of colour taken in 8K UHD – “the first use of this state-of-the-art technology in a UK museum” – which you can watch here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=7OiG-WjbCQA. Admission to this exhibition is free. For more information visit: www.vam.ac.uk/event/2pYB2ymz/in-search-of-forgotten-colours.

Opening Hours: Monday-Sunday: 10am-5:30pm

Location: The Toshiba Gallery @ Victoria & Albert Museum, Cromwell Road, London SW7 2RL

BIOLOGY OF METAL - METAL CRAFTSMANSHIP IN TSUBAME-SANJO @ Japan House London, 6 September - 28 October 2018

Gyokusendo Metal Teapot ©Tsubame-Sanjo Factory Festival Committee

Inspired by the annual Tsubame-Sanjo Factory Festival (工場の祭典, Kōba no Saiten) initiative in Tsubame-Sanjo, northern Niigata Prefecture, when each October factories and workshops open their doors to visitors for a rare opportunity to see craftspeople at work and experience metalworking through workshops, Japan House London is currently hosting ‘BIOLOGY OF METAL – METAL CRAFTSMANSHIP IN TSUBAME SANJO’ until the end of October.

On show for the first time in the UK, the exhibition brilliantly explores the innovative centuries-old craftsmanship that has made this small town one of Japan’s most famous industrial hubs. Tsubame-Sanjo produces an astounding quantity and variety of knives, cutting tools, machine parts, metal housewares, and drinking vessels amongst many other things, all of which are available for viewing at this informative exhibition.

There are also a range of talks, demonstrations and workshops lead by Tsubame-Sanjo makers, adding an interactive side to this already intriguing exhibition. Crafts from the region are available for purchase at The Shop at Japan House whilst documentary clips can be viewed in the gallery area. Admission to this exhibition is free.

For more information on the exhibition and the dates and times of its talks and workshops, visit: www.japanhouselondon.uk/whats-on/biology-of-metal-craftsmanship-in-tsubame-sanjo

Opening Hours: Monday-Saturday 10am-8pm; Thursdays 10pm-9pm until Christmas; Sundays & Bank Holidays 12pm-6pm

Address: Japan House London, 101-111 Kensington High Street, London W8 5SA

Masters of Japanese prints: Hokusai and Hiroshige landscapes @ Bristol Museum & Art Gallery, 22 September 2018 - 6 January 2019

The Great Wave off Kanagawa by Hokusai

Boasting a collection of some 500 ukiyo-e (浮世絵, ‘floating world pictures’) woodblock prints, Bristol Museum & Art Gallery is hosting a series of three exhibitions, beginning with ‘Masters of Japanese prints: Hokusai and Hiroshige landscapes’, showcasing the development of an artistic style that was immensely popular with Japanese customers during the late-Edo period and later with western artists and collectors.

‘Masters of Japanese prints: Hokusai and Hiroshige landscapes’ includes displays from a number of prominent and “ground-breaking series” such as Hokusai’s ‘Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji’ and Hiroshige’s ‘The Fifty-three Stations of the Tokaido Road’, amongst others. Visitors to the exhibition will also be treated to a set of prints showing the process of colour printing one of Hiroshige’s prints ‘Shono – Sudden Rain’ from ‘The Fifty-three Stations of the Tokaido’, newly commissioned from a traditional woodblock print workshop in Tokyo. For fans of Japanese art and history, this is not an exhibition to be missed – admission is free so what’s the excuse?

For more information on this exhibition and the others in the three-part series, visit: www.bristolmuseums.org.uk/bristol-museum-and-art-gallery/whats-on/hokusai-hiroshige-japanese-prints/

Opening times: Tuesday – Sunday, Bank Holiday Mondays and Mondays during Bristol school holidays: 10am-5pm

Location: Bristol Museum & Art Gallery, Queens Road, Bristol BS8 1RL

The Art of Gaman @ Theatre503, London 3 - 27 October 2018

The Art of Gaman

Written by Dipika Guha and shortlisted for the American Playwriting Foundation’s prestigious Relentless Award, ‘The Art of Gaman’ makes its way to Theatre503 for “an aching exploration of displacement and loss of cultural identity” that weaves through seven decades in the life of a Japanese woman in the wake of the Hiroshima bombing. Forced to leave her home, Tomomi must perfect the art of gaman (我慢, patience/perseverance), harnessing the strength to find beauty in her struggle, to carve out a new life in a country that considers her an enemy, and to remain truthful to whom she really is.

The personal experiences and perspectives of not only Guha but also director Ailin Conant provide ‘The Art of Gaman’ with incredible inspiration and grounding that promises to evoke within viewers a greater understanding of the trials and tribulations faced by so many in the past but also the present. Tickets are £17 for adults and £12 for concessions. Five £5 tickets will also be available to each evening performance so book quickly to snap them up! For more information visit: www.theatre503.com/whats-on/the-art-of-gaman

Dates and times: 3-27 October at 7:30pm; + 13, 20, 24, 27 at 3pm; + 17 at 12pm

Location: Theatre503, The Latchmere, 503 Battersea Park Road, London SW11 3BW

Yayoi Kusama: THE MOVING MOMENT WHEN I WENT TO THE UNIVERSE @ Victoria Miro, London, 3 October - 21 December 2018

Infinity Mirrored Room © Yayoi Kusama

‘Yayoi Kusama: THE MOVING MOMENT WHEN I WENT TO THE UNIVERSE’ is the latest major exhibition of new work by world-renowned artist Yayoi Kusama. This exhibition, her twelfth at Victoria Miro, features new paintings, including works from the iconic ‘My Eternal Soul’ series, painted bronze pumpkin and flower sculptures, and a large-scale ‘Infinity Mirrored Room’, a debut piece enveloping visitors inside a large mirrored room with paper lanterns covered with the polka dot patterns synonymous with Kusama. The exhibition also coincides with the release of ‘Kusama: Infinity’, the new docufilm charting the extraordinary life of Yayoi Kusama.

For more detailed information on what is already proving to be an intriguing and extremely popular exhibition, check out Victoria Miro’s website: www.victoria-miro.com/exhibitions/528  

At the time of writing the exhibition is fully booked – follow Victoria Miro on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook for updates on any additional ticket availability.

Opening Hours: Tuesday-Saturday: 10am-6pm by free timed ticket only.

Location: Victoria Miro, 16 Wharf Road, London N1 7RW

Kusama: Infinity Out Now

Kusama: Infinity

Tracing her trajectory from a conservative upbringing in wartime Japan to campaigning against sexism and racism in 1960s USA to her ascension to international stardom, ‘Kusama: Infinity’ explores the intriguing and polka dot-speckled life of Yayoi Kusama, arguably one of the most important living artists to come out of Japan.

‘Kusama: Infinity’ is the latest chapter in the artist’s life-long fixation with infinity and colour and is out now at select cinemas across the UK! Visit www.kusamamovie.co.uk to find out when and where you can watch it.

Shapes of Water - Print Works & Works on Paper @ Sway Gallery, London, 5 - 30 October 2018

Shapes of Water - Print Works & Works on Paper

Following the success of the interactive installation work: ‘Making Waves’ – the official event of ‘Hokusai, Beyond the Great Wave’ at the British Museum last year, Hiroko Imada has produced a series of images – ‘Shapes of Water’ using a variety of techniques from Screen Painting to Ink Drawing, and Watercolour to Woodcut.

 ‘Shapes of Water’ will furthermore include an auditory dimension, with special performances by the young and very talented British composer and flautist Nicholas Sabisky – work that he himself has composed to compliment “the different facets of water” – and fellow flautist Megan Storer in the duo pieces.

Admission is free to both the exhibition proper and its special events so don’t miss out on this truly unique and impressive showcase!

For detailed information regarding the dates and times of artistic workshops and musical performances, visit: www.london.sway-gallery.com/blog/2018/08/31/shapes-of-water-print-works-works-on-paper

Opening Hours: Monday-Friday 11am-7pm; Saturday 27 October 12pm-5pm

Location: Sway Gallery, 70-72 Old Street, London EC1V 9AN

Master - An Ainu Story @ The Brunei Gallery, SOAS, London, 12 October - 15 December 2018

Master An Ainu Story - © Adam Isfendiyar

‘Master – An Ainu Story’ is a photographic exhibition by Adam Isfendiyar depicting the story of contemporary Ainu (an indigenous people of Japan) living in Japan, told through the life experiences of Kenji Matsuda – a key figure in the Ainu community of Akan, a small village in Japan’s northernmost prefecture of Hokkaido.

Through a series of photos taken by Isfendiyar over his two-year stay in Akan, the exhibition takes visitors on a journey through the recent history of the Ainu people, offering a unique and rare insight into the Ainu people’s position in the wider Japanese society and the extent to which they have adapted to it. Admission is free. For more information check out the event website: www.soas.ac.uk/gallery/master

Opening Hours: Tuesday-Sunday: 10:30am-5pm; Late night Thursday 10:30am-8pm

Location: The Brunei Gallery, SOAS University of London, 10 Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG

Mirai Out 2 November 2018


Directed by Hosoda Mamoru and produced by Studio Chizu, ‘Mirai’ is the story of 4-year-old Kun, a young boy who feels forgotten by his family after his little sister Mirai is born. Upon stumbling across a magical garden Kun encounters the future teenage Mirai, who has travelled back in time to see him. Through their adventures together Kun learns how to live with his baby sibling.

The film stars the voices of Kamishiraishi Moka, Kuroki Haru, Hoshino Gen, Asō Kumiko, Yoshihara Mitsuo, Miyazaki Yoshiko, Yakusho Kōji and Fukuyama Masaharu. ‘Mirai’ is scheduled for release in the UK and EIRE on 2 November 2018.

Something New - Yuta Segawa Ceramics Solo Exhibition @ Sway Gallery, London, 2 - 22 November 2018

Something New - Yuta Segawa Ceramics Solo Exhibition

Held this November at Sway Gallery, ‘Something New’ is a colourful installation of three hundred small pots of different shapes and sizes by renowned Japanese ceramicist Yuta Segawa. Miniature pots have been “at the heart” of Segawa’s artistic endeavours since he began crafting them daily back in 2013 and so visitors to ‘Something New’ will discover a beautiful visual expression of Segawa’s artistic growth and mindfulness of new creative direction. Admission is free and all artwork will be for sale.

For more information visit: www.london.sway-gallery.com/blog/2018/10/02/upcoming-exhibition-something-new-yuta-segawa-ceramics-solo-exhibition

Opening Hours: Monday-Friday 11am-7pm

Location: Sway Gallery, 70-72 Old Street, London EC1V 9AN

Takeo Paper Show - SUBTLE: Delicate or Infinitesimal @ Japan House London, 13 November - 24 December 2018

Paper Flower by MISAWA Haruka - TAKEO PAPER SHOW SUBTLE- Image © Amana Group

Following hugely successful shows at its sister locations in Los Angeles and São Paulo, from next month until Christmas Eve Japan House London will be hosting ‘SUBTLE: Delicate or Infinitesimal’, an exhibition exploring the limitless possibilities of fine paper.

Inspired by the Takeo Paper Show, Japan’s only paper industry show, ‘SUBTLE’ will present works designed and crafted from among 15 creators living and working in Japan from across the art, animation, architecture, fashion, graphic design and literary worlds, and visitors will have the opportunity to learn about the various materials and the diversity of textures, colours, techniques and applications chosen and adopted by each artist.

The exhibition will be divided into four parts, namely: ‘SUBTLE | Creation’ – objects designed and produced by the 15 multi-disciplinary creators; ‘SUBTLE | Collection’ – examples of products that invite visitors to recall their own experiences related to the material on show such as paper lace and uchiwa fans; ‘SUBTLE | Portrait’ – a selection of related photography by Ueda Yoshihiko; and ‘SUBTLE on Products’ – a presentation showcasing the continuous role technological development plays in paper innovation and setting wider design trends.

Admission to this exhibition is free. For more details on ‘SUBTLE: Delicate or Infinitesimal’ please visit: www.japanhouselondon.uk/whats-on/takeo-paper-show-subtle

Opening Hours: Monday-Saturday 10am-8pm; Sundays & Bank Holidays 12pm-6pm

Location: Japan House London, 101-111 Kensington High Street, London W8 5SA

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