_If you are coming to NYC or living in the city and looking for something different to do I always recommend visiting some of the smaller museums and galleries. Last night I attended the opening of BYE BYE KITTY!!! Between Heaven and Hell in Contemporary Japanese Art at the Japan Society. The exhibit runs from March 18th to June 12th, 2011 and features sixteen emerging and mid-career artist whose work is grouped into three sections, “Critical Memory,” “Threatened Nature,” and “Unquiet Dream.” All of the works are incredibly special and float between the mind-blowingly detailed and the "simply complicated." This exhibit is NOT to be missed.
From the moment I entered the gallery I was transported back to my first experience with Japanese Contemporary Art. I was living in Tokyo and had the pleasure of being introduced to Julia Barnes, the main woman to know for all things current in the Japanese Contemporary Art market. At the time she was launching 101Tokyo Contemporary Art Fair. She had galleries from all over Japan and the rest of the world showcasing their work in a Japanese school. It was here that I first had the opportunity to fall in love with the works of Kazuharu Ishikawa and Rinko Kawauchi. I am now thrilled to find Rinko Kawauchi’s work being shown in New York and to once again have the opportunity to see so much amazing Contemporary Japanese Art.
It is impossible to have a favorite piece but when you go to the exhibit make sure to take time to look closely at Makoto Aida’s Ash Color Mountains. I know it will be disturbing for some given the current disaster in Japan but it is worth looking at on a deeper level. Plus if you look closely you’ll find both Waldo and WALL-E hidden in the mountain. And after having thought about Miwa Yanagi’s work that focuses on the fantasies and fears of what women will be doing 50yrs from now you will want to take time and look at the amazing details in the work of Manabu Ikeda and Yamaguchi Akira. But if your mind starts to melt from all this detail all you will need to do is head over to see the work of Kumi Machida and Kohei Nawa and you will once again peace mixed with curiosity.
I’ve mentioned this before but I have a major weakness for beautiful exhibit books that will transport me and the book for this exhibit is no exception. In classic Japanese style it is a soft cover book and full of amazing photos and information that I hope you will consider purchasing. The book is available at the Japan Society for $35 or on Amazon for $23.10. The trend of ipad exhibit Apps is continuing and this exhibit will have one too starting on March 18th. To learn more about the exhibit please click here. To learn more about the Japan Society’s Earthquake Relief Fund click here.
This is a link to NBC’s Interview with Joe Earle VP and Gallery Director of Japan Society.
This video shows you some of the exhibit:
_And here is the detailed interview (with subtitles) of the interview with Makoto Aida:
_For me, the end of December 2010 was spent in Morocco with some fantastic friends. The beginning of the trip started out a bit rocky since our friend’s flights were cancelled due to snow in Paris. Fortunately they managed to get on another flight and join us. Sadly, their luggage decided to take a separate holiday in Paris…for five days. Despite the drama we managed to have some incredible adventures, eat some delicious food, find rejuvenation in the spas, meet some wonderful people, and survive the frantic drive through the Atlas Mountains. Here is a video of our adventure that I hope will inspire you:
_Iceland has been on my MUST GET TO list for the last year. With its dramatic landscape and varied terrain it is a photographers paradise plus the thermal spas appeal to my inner spa addict. This video from Inspired by Iceland may have just put me over the edge of packing my bags. See the video and let us know if it inspires you. When it does give us a call.
_Today a dear friend of mine and I went to the Cooper-Hewitt Museum in NYC to see the Van Cleef & Arpels exhibit (on view till June 5, 2011). The museum's Set In Style exhibit is well worth the $15 price of admission. There are over 350 pieces of Van Cleef & Arpels jewelry on display that are beautifully present in a multitude of rooms. The collection is broken into three main categories Innovation, Transformation, and Natures Inspiration.
While all the rooms are certain to have you look over each item, my favorite room in the exhibit is the conservancy. Just as you enter the conservancy there is one broach that is on display in a highly magnified glass to show the true craftsmanship of the piece from both the front and back. Once you are fully in the conservancy you will see several Butterfly Brooches that are artfully suspended in a case that gently reminds you that this museum is in the landmark Andrew Carnegie Mansion . I recommend taking a few moments in the conservancy to sit along the window to admire the entire space and flip through the beautiful hardcover exhibit book - Set In Style, The Jewelry of Van Cleef & Arpels. If you are a fan of such beautiful books you will certainly be tempted to purchase this one. The book is available in The Shop for $55 ($49.50 for Museum Members) or you could just order it from Amazon, which is currently selling the book for $34.65. For those of you are more tech savvy you'll be interested to know that the Cooper-Hewitt offers iPads that are loaded with the Set In Style application. The app is full of beautiful images, information, videos, and it has the ability for you to share your thoughts on items and create your won Jewel box. If your travel plans don't include NYC or you simply want to continue to be inspired by the exhibit you can view a fine selection of the exhibition items by down loading the free Set In Style iPad App.
If you want even more information about the exhibit check out this video.