Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Ebisu

I headed up to Ebisu today to take in the New Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography Exhibit Still / Motion, about video and moving images as Art. Some images were stunning, some puzzling and some downright weird. A weird one was a bowl of fruit (videos thankfully not live!!) gradually turning to almost dust, (seen that before I think) but next to it a dead hare gradually turning to liquid!! A highlight was the work of Yasumasa Morimura, a Japanese "appropriation artist" (means like it sounds) he borrows images from historical artists (ranging from Manet to Rembrandt), and inserts his own face and body into them. His work engages with issues of gender, and challenges both Western and Japanese notions of good taste. This work was obviously Vermeer. This consisted of a video of him dressed like this reading a letter (silently) then at the end turning towards us in the familiar pose. He also had a mock up of the painting of The letter, but she had a trombone and a laurel wreath on her head, and he, as Vermeer was painting her. Initially when I saw the poster I presumed it was a Vermeer exhibition , then looking closer I thought "that's not right!"

I loved the symmetry of this view looking down to the Museum cafe.

The Gallery is in the Yebisu Garden Place, built on the former Yebisu beer factory. (moved, not defunct)
The place is reached from Ebisu station via a walkway taking you 5 minutes to 'walk' to the Plaza.

Some language trivia... I wondered why it was Yebisu, not Ebisu (one of the 7 gods) turns out you can no longer write 'ye,' as the syllable 'ye' (only ya, yu, yo) and corresponding kana have almost completely disappeared from modern Japanese and been replaced by 'e'.

View, left is part of the main centre area with department store in the background. The display is one of Cosmos flowers, obviously changing with the seasons.

1 comment:

"See Me"... said...

Very arty f**ty! Love the photos as well as the exhibition!