#StayHome and Enjoy Art With Pola Museum of Art’s Creativity Packed Website

05.May.2020 | SPOT

Pola Museum of Art, an art museum in Hakone, Kanagawa, has launched a new page on its website for people to immersive themselves in the world of art while at home. From gallery talk videos to painting activities that kids and adults alike can enjoy, the web page is packed full of fun and diverse content.

The page is split into four sections: “Watch,” “Read,” “Create,” and “Learn About Pola Museum of Art.”

 

<Watch>

A menu of videos showcasing exhibitions and artwork from the museum. This includes videos hosted by the museum’s curators who talk about certain works of art, paintings, art tools, and more.

 

<Read>

Learn more about art by reading commentary about artists and their works. This includes manga, life drawing, and much more. Discover the history of these artists, see how scientific research has brought to life the process of how they created their works, and more.

 

<Create>

A wide selection of video tutorials encourage you to simply move your hand to create something yourself. From painting to cutouts, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

 

<Learn About Pola Museum of Art>

This section is a chance for people who have never heard of the Pola Museum of Art, or who have never visited it, to get to know the place. It covers everything from Fuji Hakone Izu National Park where the museum is located to the work that goes on behind the scenes at the museum.

 

Pola Museum of Art will continue to update the page, so be sure to check it out.

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    100 Bottles Signed by Daidō Moriyama

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    Lip <Junmai>

     

    ©Daido Moriyama Photo Foundation Courtesy of Akio Nagasawa Gallery

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    teamLab Folding Rice Bag

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    Tomoko Oshima | Comment

    “What’s fascinating about Mickey Mouse is, for reasons I can’t begin to work out, how he became a part of each person’s life. I was raised in a household that banned cartoon characters, so it always felt like something unobtainable. Mickey Mouse is like a hero to all of us. He’s dazzling and radiant, a kind of being I can’t look directly in the face of. When working on my Mickey Mouse art [for the exhibition], my concept was to create a Mickey that’s special only to me, so I challenged myself to turning that Mickey Mouse that everyone feels happy looking at and loves into my usual art style.”

    Oheya (Bedroom), Tomoko Oshima

     

    Kosuke Kawamura | Comment

    “What I find fascinating about Mickey Mouse is that no matter how old I get, he always transports me away from the real world to a world of dreams. He’s an idol of mine. I even have my own collection of merchandise I’ve been collecting over the years. For the exhibition, I needed to creating something for the Beyond [zone], so I tried shaping Mickey Mouse from how I see him in my head. I’ve always made sure to balance my artwork in such a way that it can be seen in two ways. When you stand close, you can see the detailed composition, but when you step away, it looks different. This time around I gave myself a little challenge and made the silhouette of his face and hands using flowers. If you get close to it you’ll see that it’s made up of lots of flowers, but stand from afar and you’ll be able to see the facial expressions and his pointing figure. I’d like people to give both a go, so when you’ve looked at it up close then take a step back.”

    Untitled, Kosuke Kawamura

    Nana Soeda | Comment

    “I feel Mickey Mouse’s appeal from his long history and how he has changed overtime, so I tried to express these aspects in the piece I made. The theme for it is centred on Mickey Mouse in the future, so when I was thinking about what he might look like in the future, I looked to past [designs] and tried fixing them up. So in my piece there’s a trace of looking back at past Mickey Mouse while giving him an update. Creating those ‘futures’ made me feel like I was walking through my own past and processes. You can’t know exactly what’s to come in the future even for someone as internationally popular as Mickey Mouse. But by learning from past memories and mistakes, you can draw on those to create a future, don’t you think? That’s something I wanted to convey in this piece, and I did so by creating something that’s close to the Mickey Mouse of the past with both 2D and 3D surfaces. The Mickey Mouse I drew is the one of ages past that looks completely different to his appearance today. But those look at it might feel something newer about it than older. That, or they might feel uncomfortable seeing him in a way they’re not used to. I want people to take their time looking at both and feeling whatever they feel when they do.”

    LOVE, Nana Soeda

     

    Calligrapher MAMI | Comment

    “I’ve captured Mickey Mouse’s silhouette as its own kanji by using calligraphy. His appearance is iconic worldwide, and by making him recognisable through this common language, I’ve tried to create a new kanji, effectively breaking the language barrier of calligraphy, something which is difficult in itself to overcome for people. Another thing with calligraphy is that you can write the same piece hundreds of times which means it can be fine tuned over and over. I believe that overlaps with Mickey Mouse’s design as he has too has evolved for a hundred years. But by no means have his designs he just spring out of existence immediately. He has undergone trial and error through the times, and always shines bright. It’s because of everyone who will see my piece as this exhibition that I’ve been able to create something I can feel from the heart.”

    ZEN Mickey, Calligrapher MAMI

     

    WAKU | Comment

    “I think the appeal of Mickey Mouse lies in the fact that people around the world all remember him from their childhoods. We form memories during our childhoods, and ever I’ve been able to recognise those memories inside of me, Mickey Mouse was something that was always close to me. When I see three circles together, Mickey Mouse’s face comes into my mind. He might be the first internationally recognisable symbol. I felt that the affinity between symbolism and neon signs is very high. So for my piece, I incorporated the techniques used for traditional Japanese neon signboards, something which I see less of these days. I took that and created the three Mickey Mouse circles using light.”

    Untitled (Still Being Worked On), WAKU

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    About YOKU MOKU MUSEUM

    YOKU MOKU is a Japanese confectionery company best known for their Cigare cookies which are shaped to look like cigars. The company was founded by Noriichi Fujinawa, who maintained that “confections are creations.” Toshiyasu Fujinawa, the Chairman of YOKU MOKU Holdings, will act as the Museum Director at YOKU MOKU MUSEUM where a wide selection of artworks from YOKU MOKU’s collection will be displayed, including the Picasso ceramics the company has collected for over 30 years.

     

    About the YOKU MOKU Collection

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  • Review | ART AQUARIUM MUSEUM: A Magical Place Swimming With Life

    07.October.2020 | FEATURES / SPOT

    ART AQUARIUM MUSEUM officially opened permanently in Nihonbashi, Tokyo, on August 28, 2020. Before that, it was simply an exhibition that was held around Tokyo which brought together over 10 million visitors throughout its run, exhibiting goldfish in a variety of breathtaking ways.

     

    We visited ART AQUARIUM MUSEUM together with Japanese model Yuna Yabe to take a deeper dive into what lies within those doors.

    ART AQUARIUM MUSEUM can be found in Nihonbashi, an area of which served as one of many places where ART AQUARIUM previously held its exhibitions. Nihonbashi is steeped in tradition and is actually the place where Japan’s goldfish culture spawned from during the Edo Period.

     

    ART AQUARIUM was conceived and is managed by Hidetomo Kimura, an author and general producer. It’s a collaboration between art, design, and entertainment, all fused into an aquarium to create a completely unique experience. The museum has taken what was once a pop-up exhibition and expanded it many-fold, housing close around 30,000 goldfish.


    The aquarium is divided into different areas each with its own unique theme that plunges visitors into a multitude of fantastical worlds. One of the must-sees when visiting ART AQUARIUM MUSEUM is the masterful Oiran works—giant goldfish bowls as pictured above—which are inspired by the red light district of the Edo Period.

    Perhaps the most striking and gorgeous part of the Edo Period was Hanamachi, the districts where geisha worked. The high-ranking courtesans, known as Oiran, engaged in what was known as the Oiran Dochu, or procession of the courtesans, and this too has been captured at the museum in the designs of the beautiful fish tanks in this area.

    Another unmissable part when visiting the aquarium are the Goldfish Shrines, towering fish tanks lined up like a column of water trees which make for an incredible viewing experience.

    The lighting and music is ever-changing, and so transports visitors into a completely different realm every time. It can be one way one moment, and in the next instant it changes entirely.

    From the second floor you can overlook the fish shrines with dynamic 3D visuals in the background. These visuals change depending on the season, so you’ll be in for a treat however many times you visit.

    There are countless works of goldfish art scattered throughout the aquarium—too many to count, so your eyes will never grow tired.

    Suigian Lounge – Old Pine Tree Area

    ART AQUARMIUM MUSEUM even has its own dining lounge where guests can enjoy a meal while gazing at a painting of old pine trees, a cultural property of the Edo Period said to have been painted by those of the Kano school of Japanese painting. Traditional performances are also carried out on the stage for diners.

    These drinks are ¥1,200 each (before tax)

    Every five days, a new line-up of cocktails is served at Suigian Lounge. Japan used to be divided into 24 sekki rather than the now-used four seasons of springs, summer, autumn, and winter. These were further divided into 72 , which are five days apart each. That’s where the lounge gets its idea for changing its cocktails every five days. So you’re sure to find an interesting flavour on every visit.

    Kagyo Ryoran – Joy Area 

    Kagyo Ryoran is a separate cafe lounge at the aquarium where they serve authentic Japanese sweets in collaboration with famous confectionery shops.

    From Left Clockwise: Goldfish Sarasa ¥750 / Palet D’or Cacao Soda ¥900 / Echire Butter & Cream Castella ¥800 / lohasbeans coffee Matcha Tiramisu ¥850 / Goldfish Jelly ¥750 (All Before Tax)

    The cafe serves up range of tasty Japanese desserts, from traditional ones to others inspired by goldfish and some made in collaboration with other shops.

    Large Plush Toys: ¥3,200 Each (Before Tax)

    The aquarium event sells its own souvenirs, such as goldfish plushies in various sizes, original confections, collaborative products, and more.

    “Everything was magical—the goldfish, the sounds, the lights, the atmosphere!” explains Yuna. “They have a lot of different varieties of goldfish, and the fish tanks come in all shapes and sizes, which makes for plenty of Instagram-worthy moments. And since it’s inspired by Edo culture, it has a Japanese vibe to it too. The fish are always swimming around, so no two moments are ever the same, meaning you’re offered something fresh every time you visit.”

     

    If you’re visiting Tokyo, be sure to pay a visit to ART AQUARIUM MUSEUM.

  • Tokyo National Museum Announces VR Experience of the Famous Pine Trees Screen

    05.October.2020 | SPOT

    Tokyo National Museum has announced that it is set to showcase the Shōrin-zu byōbu, or Pine Trees Screen, in VR at its TNM & TOPPAN Museum Theatre from October 7, 2020.

    Japanese artist Hasegawa Tōhaku’s Pine Trees Screen has been digitally rendered in 25,376,150,000 images so that visitors can appreciate the details of this ink-on-paper work of this officially-recognised National Treasure of Japan.

     

    Additionally, another one of Tōhaku’s works, Kaedezu Kabeharitsuke (Maple Trees) will also be available to view in VR from October 6 to November 29.

     

    About the Pine Tree Screens

    Of the many National Treasures kept at Tokyo National Musuem, Hasegawa Tōhaku’s Shōrin-zu byōbu is one of the most popular. It’s a piece that has much mystery surrounding it, with people not knowing the pine tree location that he painted, or why he painted it. The VR experience will look into how the painting may have come about as well as take a stroll through Tōhaku’s other works, his life, and more.

     

    The VR experience is an incredible opportunity for people unable to visit Tokyo National Museum to see a masterful and respected piece of Japanese art.

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