Archive | November, 2014

Dr. Wilda Reviews Live On: Mr.’s Japanese Neo-Pop at Seattle Art Museum

23 Nov

Moi attended the press viewing of Live On: Mr.’s Japanese Neo-Pop at the Seattle Art Museum’s Asian Museum. Here are the details:

Nov 22 2014 – Apr 5 2015

Asian Art Museum

Tateuchi Galleries

If possible, Mr. should be seen in conjunction with Pop Departures:

Pop Departures

Oct 9 2014 – Jan 11 2015

Seattle Art Museum

Simonyi Special Exhibition Galleries

The exhibition takes us beyond the pioneers of Pop and to the work of subsequent generations of artists for whom Pop art has been an inspiration or a vehicle for critique. See works from the 1980s and ’90s by artists such as Lynn Hershman Leeson, Jeff Koons, Barbara Kruger, and Richard Prince. Continue with work made in the era of digital markets and social media by Margarita Cabrera, Josephine Meckseper, and Ryan Trecartin….http://www.seattleartmuseum.org/exhibitions/pop

According to the Seattle Art Museum’s description of Mr.’s exhibit:

Live On, which is organized by SAM, presents Mr.’s art of the past 15 years and is his first solo exhibition in a U.S. museum. Born in 1969, Mr. is a protégé of Takashi Murakami, internationally acclaimed icon of Japanese Pop art. He borrowed the name “Mr.” from “Mister Giants” (Shigeo Nagashima), the superstar clean-up hitter of the postwar Yomiuri Giants baseball team…                                                                                            http://www.seattleartmuseum.org/exhibitions/liveon

Lehmann Maupin has some very good information about Mr.

Mr. (b. 1969, Cupa, Japan) graduated from the Department of Fine Arts, Sokei Art School in Tokyo in 1996. Mr.’s work simultaneously studies and partakes in otaku, the Japanese “cute” subculture marked by fetishistic obsession with young adolescents, technology, sci-fi literature, manga, anime, and video games. Like his fellow Superflat artists, Mr. approaches the visual language of manga as a means of examining Japanese culture at large, fusing high and low forms of contemporary expression. Mr.’s paintings play with the hyper-sexualized portrayal of young women prevalent in otaku; know in Japan as “lolicon,” the term is originally shorthand for “Lolita Complex” but in usage has come to refer to the otaku preference for explicitly fictional young girls.

Mr. has exhibited internationally in both group and solo exhibitions including the acclaimed 2005 exhibition Little Boy: The Arts of Japan’s Exploding Subculture, Japan Society, New York; RED HOT: Asian Art Today from the Chaney Family Collection, Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Texas (2007); KRAZY! The Delerious World of Anime + Comics + Video Games + Art, Vancouver Art Gallery, Canada (2008); Animate, Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, Fukuoka, Japan (2009); Exhibition Kyoto-Tokyo: From Samurais to Mangas, Grimaldi Forum (2010); Leeahn Gallery, Seoul, Korea (2010). Mr.’s work is represented in numerous public and private collections worldwide. The artist lives and works in Saitama, just outside of Tokyo, Japan.           http://www.lehmannmaupin.com/artists/mr

Related:

Japanese Artist Mr. – Metamorphosis at Lehmann Maupin …

► 5:44► 5:44

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9fyPnFZZjtA

Sep 22, 2012 – Uploaded by VernissageTV

http://www.vernissage.tv | Japanese Artist Mr.: Metamorphosis: Give Me Your Wings / Lehmann Maupin Gallery ..

Aric Chen wrote an insightful analysis of Mr. in Art Crawl’s Candy Man:

Mr. is a Japanese artist whose cartoonish paintings and sculptures in bubblegum colors derive from Japan’s otaku (or “geek”) subculture. As such, he shares the otaku obsession with anime, manga comic books and what many have described as their unhealthy infatuation with little girls….

Mr.’s images are compellingly saccharine portraits of innocence taken to unsettling, seductive extremes. Admitting to a Lolita complex—though he says he doesn’t act on it—he maintains the line between fantasy and reality by realizing his fantasies through the medium of his work. All the while, his subject matter is both intensified and chastened, its dark desires illuminated by a sheen of cuteness, posing questions about the limits of acceptability, the boundlessness of imagination and the perversions hidden within all cultures, whether otaku or otherwise….   http://www.hintmag.com/artcrawl/artcrawl.php

See, Mr. ‘Metamorphosis: Give Me Your Wings’ at Lehmann Maupin Gallery (Video)       http://www.huffingtonpost.com/vernissagetv/mr-metamorphosis-give-me-_b_1907858.html

Live On is a sample of the past 15 years or so of Mr.’s work. It seemed to be divided into three periods. The first period was when Mr. was a struggling student artist and then working under the tutelage of Takashi Murakami. He explores themes of otaku culture, and lolicon themes using an anime/manga style. The periods flow into each. Mr. first period is typified by “Making Things Right” which depicts an uprising. This work is interesting because Mr. used scraps of canvas from Murakami to piece together a larger work. He was working as an apprentice and didn’t have much money.

Another period began in 2011 in response to the tsunami and nuclear accident. He mentioned that he explored themes of garbage when he was a student, but moved on. Japan and Italy were compared by Mr. because both suffered poverty after WWII. He mentioned the movement of Italian artists who explore the theme of garbage to express what is going on in their environment. See, In Naples, artists use irony to tackle festering trash crisis. http://www.csmonitor.com/Environment/Living-Green/2008/0506/in-naples-artists-use-irony-to-tackle-festering-trash-crisis According to Mr. the garbage installation at SAM just came out of him. He ties the garbage period to current work by including newer work in the installation. Frankly, moi is glad Mr. got garbage out of his system and will hopefully move on.

The third period is a period of an artist refining his technique and using quality materials. There is a degree of control and intentionality in his exploration of anime/manga. The works can be appreciated on many levels and are more than just bright colorful pictures of girls. An element of Japanese culture which many will never explore or know is hiding there in plain view.

Mr. mentioned Hatsune Miku which is a virtual character during question period. Huffington Post reported about this trend in Meet Hatsune Miku, The Sensational Japanese Pop Star Who Doesn’t Really Exist:

Miku is a mascot for a product: a voice synthesizing software, through which users can write songs. In 2007, a company called Crypton Future Media released the software for purchase, built using Yamaha’s Vocaloid technology as well as a database of samples recorded by a voice actress. As with most of Japan’s entities (including the country’s police agencies), this offering came with a cartoon mascot. She was 16, liked pop music, and wore her hair in long pigtails. She was Hatsune Miku, a name that translates to “first sound of the future….” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/10/08/hatsune-miku-letterman_n_5956420.html

One can only wonder if this is the next path for Mr.

Dr. Wilda recommends Live On and if the reader can attend Pop Departures, it will simply enhance the enjoyment of both exhibits.

Resources:

What are Manga and Anime?

http://www.mit.edu/~rei/Expl.html

The Truth Behind What “Otaku” Really Means

http://japaneselevelup.com/the-truth-behind-what-otaku-really-means/

Lolicon: The Reality of ‘Virtual Child Pornography’ in Japan

http://www.academia.edu/3665383/Lolicon_The_Reality_of_Virtual_Child_Pornography_in_Japan

Related:

Dr. Wilda Reviews Seattle Art Museum’s Pop Departures                                                     https://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/2014/10/12/dr-wilda-reviews-seattle-art-museums-pop-departures/

Dr Wilda Reviews: Deco Japan: Shaping Art and Culture, 1920–1945 at the Seattle Art Museum                                                                                                                                                                 https://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/2014/05/21/dr-wilda-reviews-deco-japan-shaping-art-and-culture-1920-1945-at-the-seattle-art-museum/

Dr. Wilda Reviews art exhibit: ‘Hometown Boy: Liu Xiaodong’ at Seattle Art Museum           https://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/2013/09/12/dr-wilda-reviews-art-exhibit-hometown-boy-liu-xiaodong-at-seattle-art-museum/

Dr. Wilda Reviews: Seattle Art Museum’s ‘Future Beauty: 30 Years of Japanese Fashion’                                                         https://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/2013/06/30/dr-wilda-reviews-seattle-art-museums-future-beauty-30-years-of-japanese-fashion/

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Dr. Wilda Reviews: Excavate! Dinosaurs: Paper Toy Paleontology

18 Nov

Moi received a complimentary copy of Excavate! Dinosaurs: Paper Toy Paleontology (Dinosaurs). Here are some details about the book from the publisher:

Excavate! Dinosaurs

Paper Toy Paleontology

Jonathan Tennant

http://www.storey.com/author.php?ID=503408

Illustrated by Vladmir Nikolov and Charlie Simpson

Jonathan Tennant is a science educator and paleontologist working on his PhD in tetrapod biodiversity and extinction at Imperial College in London, England. He co-hosts a podcast series called Palaeocast, tweets as @protohedgehog, and blogs at egu.eu/palaeoblog.

Download high-res cover Preview Book

http://www.storey.com/inc/pic_display.php?isbn=9781612125206&size=full 

The ultimate gift for dinosaur-loving kids ages 7 and up! With fun text and colorful illustrations, paleontologist Jonathan Tennant explains the anatomy, habits, and diet of 12 dinosaurs from the Cretaceous, Jurassic, and Triassic eras and then provides pop-out pieces of their skeletons for kids to assemble into stand-up paper models. However, the pieces are mixed up! Before the puzzles can be completed, kids must apply their new knowledge about the dinosaurs to figure out which pieces go together. Kids will love the challenge of sorting out which bones belong to which dinosaur — just like real paleontologists do!

$ 12.95 US

Details

Although, primarily aimed at children, children from a precocious five to age six and above will have fun with Dinosaurs. NOTE: “CHOKING HAZARD – Small parts. Not for children under 3 years.”

1. Marianne Richmond writes in What Makes a Good Children’s Book?1. Strong characters who evoke strong emotion Good children’s books, no matter how simple or complex, offer a sense of joy. They can make us laugh or cry by giving us a character we want to care about…. 2. A Story that Teaches Good stories can teach simple concepts about numbers, letters or colors — OR they can teach about diversity, love, manners, and acceptance.                                3. Mind-expanding illustrations, vocabulary or concepts                          http://thewritepractice.com/childrens-book/

The premise of the book is the child learns what it is like to be a paleontologist. The reader is guided to ask about what dinosaurs were, how we know they existed from the fossil record, and learn about the time periods dinosaurs lived. Tennant provides easily understandable answers and the illustrations clearly illustrate the text. The great thing about the book is children of all ages are given “3D paper models of 12 of the most amazing dinosaurs from the Cretaceous, Jurassic and Triassic periods.” Not only does the reader learn about dinosaurs, it is fun learning which involves a participatory activity.

The book is printed on quality paper with good understandable text and illustrations. Dinosaurs is just plain fun.

Dr. Wilda gives Excavate! Dinosaurs: Paper Toy Paleontology a thumbs up.

Resources:

Dinosaur Facts for Kids                                                                                                               http://www.sciencekids.co.nz/sciencefacts/dinosaurs.html

Dinosaur Games                                                                                                                             http://pbskids.org/games/dinosaur/

Other Reviews:

Review: Excavate! Dinosaurs Paper Toy Paleontology by Jon Tennant http://secondbookshelf.blogspot.com/2014/09/review-excavate-dinosaurs-paper-toy.html

Excavate! Dinosaurs: Paper Toy Paleontology by Jonathan Tennant, Vladamir Nikolov and Charlie Simpson                                                                                                                               http://www.thebookbag.co.uk/reviews/index.php?title=Excavate!_Dinosaurs:_Paper_Toy_Paleontology_by_Jonathan_Tennant,_Vladamir_Nikolov_and_Charlie_Simpson

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Dr. Wilda Reviews Seattle Art Museum upcoming 2015 -2016 season: SAM wants to be YOUR museum

16 Nov

Moi joined other media and supporters of Seattle Art Museum (SAM) for a complimentary lunch at the Triple Door which was catered by Wild Ginger. There was an air of anticipation in the crowd about what was next on the SAM agenda. The 2014 season had been very successful with international shows like Peru: Kingdoms of the Sun and the Moon http://seattleartmuseum.org/exhibitions/peru The curator staff at SAM seems to be both imaginative and resourceful. Given the stratospheric prices art is going for at auction, the question is how resourceful and creative could the SAM staff be? The answer which came during the event was the SAM staff was just as resourceful as ever and they are making an attempt to be Seattle’s art museum by appealing to many different segments of the community.

There was the announcement that the Virginia and Bagley Wright Collection gift to SAM’s permanent collection will be on display:

In celebration of this gift, SAM will be featuring highlights of the collection throughout the modern and contemporary galleries beginning in the spring of 2015. In addition, the museum is organizing a major exhibition for the summer of 2016 that will feature abstract works from the Wright Collection as well as works in the SAM collection and other key loans….http://www.seattleartmuseum.org/about-sam/press-room/the-wright-collection-of-modern-and-contemporary-art-comes-to-seattle-art-museum

This gift is the backbone which will enhance exhibits like Pop Departures. http://www.seattleartmuseum.org/exhibitions/pop and City Dwellers which showcases contemporary art from India. http://www.seattleartmuseum.org/Exhibitions/Details?EventId=27436 Future contemporary exhibits have a wonderful platform from which to launch. SAM is blessed with three great venues, SAM Downtown, Olympic Sculpture Park, and the Asian Museum at Volunteer Park. All three venues have some exciting exhibits coming up. Sam Vernon will be at Olympic Sculpture Park from Mar 28 2015 – Mar 6 2016 http://www.seattleartmuseum.org/Exhibitions/Details?EventId=28606

At the Asian Art Museum, there are two exhibits of note in addition to the permanent collection. Live On: Mr.’s Japanese Neo-Pop will be on view from Nov 22 2014 – Apr 5 2015 in Tateuchi Galleries. Japanese artist, Chiho Aoshima will have an exhibit from April 25 – October 4, 2015. http://www.artspace.com/chiho_aoshima

Here are the highlights of the upcoming season:

  1. Native American Art

Indigenous Beauty

Feb 12 – May 17 2015

Seattle Art Museum

Simonyi Special Exhibition Galleries                                                                                                           http://www.seattleartmuseum.org/exhibitions/indigenous

  1. Native Coast Art

Seattle Collects Northwest Coast Native Art

Feb 12 – May 17 2015

Seattle Art Museum

Simonyi Special Exhibition Galleries                                                                                                             http://www.seattleartmuseum.org/Exhibitions/Details?EventId=27983

  1. Global African Art

Disguise: Masks and Global African Art

Jun 18 – Sep 7 2015

Seattle Art Museum

Simonyi Special Exhibition Galleries

http://www.seattleartmuseum.org/exhibitions/disguise

  1. Impressionism

Intimate Impressionism from the National Gallery of Art

Oct 1 2015 – Jan 10 2016

Seattle Art Museum

Simonyi Special Exhibition Galleries                                                                                                                        http://www.seattleartmuseum.org/Exhibitions/Details?EventId=27987

  1. Samuel F.B. Morse

Samuel F.B. Morse’s Gallery of the Louvre

Sep 16 2015 – Jan 10 2016

Seattle Art Museum

Third Floor Galleries                                                                                                                                           http://www.seattleartmuseum.org/Exhibitions/Details?EventId=27988

  1. Kehinde Wiley

Kehinde Wiley: A New Republic

Feb 11 – May 8 2016

Seattle Art Museum

Simonyi Special Exhibition Galleries                                                                                                         http://www.seattleartmuseum.org/Exhibitions/Details?EventId=29707

  1. Seeing Nature

Seeing Nature

Feb 16 – May 21 2017

Seattle Art Museum

Simonyi Special Exhibition Galleries

Co-organized by the Seattle Art Museum, the Portland Art Museum, and the Paul G. Allen Family Collection, Seeing Nature: Landscape Masterworks from the Paul G. Allen Family Collection

http://www.seattleartmuseum.org/Exhibitions/Details?EventId=30737

The headline from the SAM preview is SAM wants to be YOUR museum. The upcoming exhibits have a strong ethnic component and hopefully will draw crowds that don’t necessarily come to SAM. Through loans, guest curators and strong collaboration, SAM is assembling art works which show very good examples of an art theme and there are various themes for the upcoming season. For those who don’t live in Seattle, but who may be planning a trip, you might want to come during an exhibit time.

The 2015 – 2016 and beyond season is definitely a thumbs up.

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