Friday, August 8, 2008

Art in Art Deco Space

One of my favourite places in Tokyo is the Teien Art Museum, the previous Art Deco style home of Prince Asaka, the eighth son of Prince Kuni, who lived here with his princess Nobuko, the eighth daughter of Emperor Meiji. He was a great fan of the Art Deco Movement of the 1920's and 30's and this building preserves the Art Deco style. The principal parts were designed by French designer Henri Rapin (1873-1939), and many of the decorative features to be found inside were imported from France and other countries. One feature is the glorious Lalique doors. However, the basic plan of the building and some parts of interior decoration were undertaken by architects of the Imperial Household Department, adding an authentically Japanese feel to the Art Deco style.

This time the exhibition was “Summer Villa: The Sculptures, Drawings, and Prints of Katsura Funakoshi in Art Deco Space.” I had never heard of him but the advertisement picture took my fancy. Katsura Funakoshi was born in Morioka, Japan in 1951, and is especially known for his partially deformed figures that he created, the enigmatic, androgynous Sphinx series in 2006. This exhibition introduced the Sphinx series, camphor wood sculptures, the long 'ears' being leather, including new pieces, as well as a selection of the best work from each previous period of the artist’s career. This included the drawing for the studies of the statues. Strong charcoal drawing that are wonderful in themselves.

I was intrigued by this information. seems very Japanese!
Summer Villa Dress Code Discount
Visitors wearing clothing or accessory made of wood may enter by paying the group ticket rate.The sculptures of Katsura Funakoshi are made of camphor wood. We can see the shape and smell; but we cannot touch the artwork itself. Please bring something made of wood with you and touch it; it will help you imagine how the sculpture feels.
For example: Wooden buttons, wooden beads necklace, wooden sandals, handbag with wooden handle

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