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Thursday, April 26, 2012

KANTO

"Japanese Crossing Borders: Asia as Dreamed by Craftspeople, 1910s-1945"

CRAFTS GALLERY, THE NATIONAL MUSEUM OF MODERN ART, TOKYO


By TOMOHIRO OSAKI
Staff writer

News photo
"Full Moon over the East Gate in Seoul" (1934) THE NATIONAL MUSEUM OF MODERN ART, TOKYO

Lured by the exotic, Japanese craftsmen in the early-mid 20th century often traveled to neighboring Asian countries in pursuit of new ideas. They considered artisanal skills as essential traditions of Asia that needed to be cultivated and passed down to future generations.

Writer and curator Tenshin Okakura (1862-1913) criticized the Westernization of Japan and promoted "Asia as one," the unification of Asian nations to form a single Asian identity. Many craftsmen of that time agreed with the idea of Pan-Asianism and this exhibition traces such craftsmen's artistic relationships with China, Taiwan and Korea; till July 16.

Crafts Gallery, The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo; (03) 3211 7781; 1-1, Kitanomaru Park, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo; Takebashi Station, Tokyo Metro Tozai Line. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. ¥500. Closed Mon. www.momat.go.jp/english/craft.

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