In my last post, I mentioned that we bypassed the second show at the National Art Center in Roppongi because it might have been too much for one day. This week, we did two shows in the same gallery. Maybe I DO have the stamina?
It started with a plan to hang out with our friend, Andre. We knew we’d be going to an art gallery, and had a few different shows in the plans. All of them end at the end of June (and one at the end of July), so I sent him a few links and asked which he’d prefer to see.
He wrote back with a completely different show, going on at the Mori Art Museum (also in Roppongi, but on the south side of the station). There’s a very big Star Wars Visions show going on at the moment, which I imagine might be traveling, based on what’s in it. He’s a huge Star Wars fan, and this was not to be missed. It actually worked out well, since a student had recently told me about ANOTHER show going on at the Mori, that she’d seen the previous week: Simple Forms: Contemplating Beauty. The flyer she showed me was interesting, and I wanted to see how they did it. So we decided on the Mori and went on over.
The Star Wars Visions show was excellent, and HUGE. There were a LOT o f original costumes, props and even models on display. Each item was labeled as a ‘replica’ or not, which meant it was the *actual* prop (or, one of them) used in the films.
There was also a TON of artwork which was donated to the Lucasfilm foundation, either specifically for the show, or just for the love of it. The fan art and original stuff was great as well, and it was all displayed nicely. The only problem was that we couldn’t photograph it most of the time, so I didn’t get many shots. I imagine this means the show catalogs are selling well. I snuck a video of a room playing the Cantina Band song in a loop for a friend.
For those of you NOT living in Tokyo or Japan, the Mori Art Museum is at the top of the Roppongi Hills building, which is probably one of the tallest in Tokyo. On a clear day, you can see Mt Fuji. It was a hazy day, and we just about got it in our pictures. There’s an observation deck on the top as well, that you can pay extra to go up to. I’ve heard it’s full of couples and is a ‘very romantic spot’ for dates most nights.
It was actually Andre’s first time going up there, so we spent some time walking around the outer part of the gallery (on the 52nd – 54th floors) to check out the EXCELLENT view from inside. I really love the view, but would hate to be up here during an earthquake. BUT: you can see just about all of Tokyo, even if Ikebukuro is blocked by the high-rises of Shinjuku.
Then we went on to the Contemplating Beauty show, and even though we were a bit tired (and hungry) after the Star Wars Visions space, this was definitely worth seeing. ‘Simple Forms’ was definitely the focus, and it was amazing.
I found a couple of new artists I’d never seen before, and also saw a few old favorites: Durer, Brancusi, etc.
As I said, we moved through the show pretty quickly, and didn’t get to see everything, mostly because a lot of pieces were older and historical, like some carved items and also the toothpick/comb sets that were popular with Samurai. There were, however, a lot of amazing pieces in the show and I’d recommend it to anyone who happens to be in Tokyo before it closes on July 5: Contemplating Beauty: Simple Forms.
There was also an excellent piece from Olafur Eliasson on display, and one I hadn’t seen before. I really love his work and hope he might still do some bigger installations that I can actually GET TO this time. I was really upset to have missed his waterfalls in the US a few years ago.
Then we went up to the observation deck on the roof, where you could take a photo of yourself fighting with Darth Vader. We passed on that, but it seems like a nice idea to do it on top of a building, with the wind blowing in your hair.
As a museum, the Mori is one of my favorites. Although a little high for being in Tokyo (re: earthquakes), the view can’t be beat, and the layout of the museum is great. Also, the museum store sells a whole lot of Takashi Murakami products, which makes me a very happy girl.
I’ve really missed seeing art, which was something that was hard to do when I lived in Wuerzburg. I love that I’m surrounded by so many different types of galleries, there’s always a show (or a hundred) going on, and that I can WALK to the MOMAT (Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo) from my office. Seeing art gets me inspired to MAKE art again, and I can already feel it building back up. Now I just need to make the most of my free time and lifestyle, and I’ll be able to make the time for that. I also need to reconsider (or go back to considering) my idea to get my M(F)A in Art History, Theory and Criticism, which was my plan prior to moving to Germany and having the art sucked out of me.
I met a student last week who was wearing THE MOST AWESOME T-SHIRT I’d ever seen, and thankfully she was ok talking about shopping and where she’d bought it from. She left out the part about it being from LAST summer’s collection, however, which I only learned after a few days of searching.
Her shirt was from Zadig & Voltaire, and it was the now-discontinued Wanda Eagle Deluxe. It looks a lot better in person than it does on the website. After work, the same day, I raced over to the one closest to my office near Tokyo station to check it out, and got there just as the shop was closing (because in Tokyo, shit closes AT 8:30 ON THE GD WEEKEND). So I waited until my Monday off, and then went to the shop in Ikebukuro near my house. I figured the Ikebukuro branch probably gets A LOT less traffic than Shinjuku or Shibuya might, so it would be my best bet for grabbing one. I also had no idea how much it was, and was hoping for under Y10,000.
I got to the store, and it wasn’t there. In my still-terrible Japanese, I asked if they had THIS shirt and drew a picture of it (thanks, art school). The lady in the shop apologized and told me it was only available online. Sad, but they had plenty of other awesome t-shirts for me to try on, and Mark picked this one out. He’s getting really good at choosing my clothes, I have to say.
I kind of wanted to go with one of their famous skull cut-out shirts, but this sleeveless one was just too cool. So I’m happy with it. I’m even MORE happy with it now that I know the shirt I was looking for was over twice as much as this one was.
I’m going to get a lot of mileage out of this one, and I plan to wear it for YEARS.