Thursday, April 17, 2014

Collage a day Tokyo trip # 9


A breath taken

Home a few days now ... Haven't done a thing except sleep extra and reconnect with my surroundings. Miss them already yet Always nice to get home.

Plants at summers end are looking great ... Love my new clematis which has taken off.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Just not crazy enough

As you would know, dear reader, I have had the opportunity and a great privilege to spend time visiting my family in Tokyo. It's been a whirlwind of days exploring a huge, foreign city, finding my way around the streets and communication and spending time with family.

As if the daily overload of Tokyo was not enough we finished my stay with two days
 visiting Disney Land and Disney Sea. We were 3 adults, 1 child under 4, 1 child under 3 and a three month old baby.

It couldn't have got any crazier but so much fun, I don't know how to express it. There will be photos for months to come as the trip gets processed.

Now on my last day and will be travelling for 12 hours on my way back home from Tokyo to Tasmania.

I am so lucky today, my last day, to have found some Japanese Sumi ink and handmade Japanese paper....that beautiful light kind for woodcut printing.  Luverly.

A few pics from D world as I head out the door.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Collages 7&8

These postings up to here are the first 8 of 14 completed ... The first two have changed slightly since first posting them but all the others feel finished.  Will post the next lot soon .... Meantime I am creating when I can.  The plan was a collage a day but as always I just can't do that ... I work in series and complete a. Undue at a time .... My hope was I was to be away for 24 days so I should have 24 collages based on a collage a day (even though I do a fee every day or three), but even that has had to go according to time constraints and busy days so my nights are exhausted contentment.

Tokyo City Adventure in a day (3 cont...)

You can follow what happened the day I caught the train to go explore Tokyo City in previous postings.

This was just another small adventure to finish off the day ... 

1.54pm - collapsed into a chair in the gallery coffee shop.  A scone and Vienna coffee coming .... The chef came out from behind the bench of the kitchen and gave me a blue rose and said "souvenir origami from Tokyo".    So nice ....   He presented it on a saucer with a complimentary duo biscuit and chocolate.  When I left I asked for the chef and thanked him for the thought and told him the rose was going back with me to Tasmania Australia which brought a cheer from onlooking staff.
Came home to the apartment completely satiated with art, people and small acts of kindness to a foreigner.  A few pics on way to catch train back.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Collages 5 & 6

Tokyo City Adventure 3

Continued from the previous post ....
Walked one direction and noticed on the other side of the highway the Bridgestone Art Gallery. Decided to walk a little further and cross on the overpass so I can take photos and head for the art gallery.  And 1.5 hours later I couldn't find it ... I think I went off on a side street to take. Photos on that overpass and then forgot to swing back onto the street I was on.  So I went into a small cafe to have an orange juice, go to the loo and ask directions to gallery.  No one knew what I was talking about. 

So began An adventure in Tokyo proper ....  I hailed down a taxi to take me to the art gallery I had seen.  I couldn't get into the taxi without manoeuvring my handbag, jacket and umbrella, getting stuck, dropping things and apologising a lot.  We discussed where I wanted to go but the taxi driver and I could not understand one another.  I wrote it down and showed him, still no sign of recognition so I said "never mind take me to Tokyo station". That he understood and repeated "Tokyo station" twice to make sure we both were on the same page. 

2 minutes down the road I saw the gallery .... I am telling the taxi driver and pointing at the building, saying "art gallery " over and over again.   He stops and I keep pointing ... He lets me out (taxis in japan have automatic doors worked by the driver) and just before he is about to drive away I realise I don't have my camera and can see it on the floor of the taxi.  I am tapping on the window and pointing; the driver is shaking his head and opens the door again, I retrieve my camera with an overly effusive thank you and as I step back onto the kerb the driver is still shaking his head.  As he drives to the traffic light we are both pointing at the building and nodding.

I start to walk toward the entrance of the really big building and as I reach the corner, the next minute "my" taxi driver is in front of me ...he had turned the corner and parked his taxi ...he ushered me to the window the of the building and we both read the lettering together, me in English and he in Japanese .... It was to advertise the exhibition and then he repeated it in English and had me repeat in Japanese, after him.

In my mind it looked like a rerun of Monsieur Hulot' holiday.  M. Hulot's Holiday (1953) -

But it didn't end there... The lovely taxi driver made me stand in front of an outdoor sculpture and took my photo.  So sweet.  The "movie" finished with us both waving each other away .... Me into the gallery and he on his way in his taxi in the middle of a bustling Tokyo centre.

The gallery was everything and more I could have wanted. You, dear reader will have gathered this from my postings.

 This was the sculpture where he took my picture ... It's on the canon which I will download when I get home ... All these pics I haven posting on my trip are taken on the ipad.
So let's look a little at Tokyo City during my walk around ....
Sakura in the city

One more post on Tokyo City to go.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Tokyo City adventure ... Continued

Thursday 4 April 
10.16am on the train to Tokyo.
Arrived 15 minutes later.   An hour later having an orange juice in a small cafe off the main stretch.

The station is not called Tokyo Station City for nothing. It's huge with restaurants, clothing stores, fresh produce, fancy cakes and specialist chocolates.  I did think I could just stay there and explored.  That moment passed and I chose a street exit, any street.  

The city is gigantic ... Really huge, tall buildings, jam packed, many lane highway, traffic non stop occurs to me that Meguro is more like Switzerland and perhaps Tokyo like New York.

Found a fantastic tiny antiquities shop .... My goodness, the beautiful tea ceremony items which they specialise in were just wonderful ... The cheapest item was AU$500 and I t was relatively new.  The item I loved the most was a stand with a top metal spike - for a candle I was told - it had a crackle glaze, of green and beige colouring, with two small bowls ... Looking a bit like a mini fountain with three legs and the feet were cat paws, I was told.  Just beautiful .... AU$5000 favourite piece ... The other was a beautiful hand made bowl for tea, with hand drawn goldfish around it .... 150 years old.  ...... To be continued.

A bit more on the art gallery ..... And a few of my favourites.
Shojiro Ishibashi, the founder of Bridgestone Corporation, established this art museum in 1952 to display his personal collection. The collection of this museum - which holds a wide variety of exhibitions - also includes 20th century Western paintings (mainly Impressionists such as Monet, Renoir, and Cezanne and Post-Impressionists) and contemporary Japanese artists of Western-style paintings, such as Takeji Fujishima, Shigeru Aoki, and Sotaro Yasui.

  Beautiful Raoul Dufy
Love the free flowing feel of paint and brush strokes ... Love those black lines
Jackson Pollock piece was great to see in real time .... Filled with texture, collages bits, lots of colour and those fabulous deep black marks and brush strokes .... It goes without saying that the trademark drips were there .... I was surprised to find it was a small piece.  

Loved coming across the Brancusi piece and another surprise it was made of plaster. It must have been the prototype, I am guessing.

  Oh yes the Degas were fantastic
There were a few bronzes, a couple of drawings and some wonderful wonderful pastels .... The look so fresh and the mark making is so vibrant ... Loved it.

Monday, April 7, 2014

That co-op style gallery in Omotosando, Tokyo

The hallway on one side in a small section had doodles on the walls, some of the hand rail and partly on the vinyl tiled floor .... Raised vinyl pattern I might add.  Very effective, I think.

Tokyo City Adventure

Where to start .... It was such a great day with the highlight of my whole trip being the finding of the Bridgestone Art Gallery ... So many wonderful pieces... I made a list as I went along and took a few photos of some postcards of some of the pieces which I will post here.

This adventure will take a couple of posts I think.

The list from my notes....
XAugust Rodin... The thinker.... Bronze ...c1902 
Fauness standing ..... Marble ..... C1884

Camille Pissarro .... Vegetable garden ... Oil on canvas ...1878

Alfred Sisley .... Women going to the woods ....oil on canvas .... 1866
The seine at bougival .... Oil ...1870
June morning in Saint-mammies ... 1884

Constantin Brancusi .... The kiss ....plaster ....1907-1910

Ossip zadkine ... The three graces .... Bronze .... Bright gold colour 1950

Vincent Van Gogh .... Windmills on Montmartre ... Oil.... 1886

Renoir ... Woman in a hat with flowers 1917
Pastel ... Young girl 1887

Toulouse Lautrec ... In the wings at the circus .... Oil 1887 ... Looks like charcoal
Moulin rouge, la goulue 1891 .... Lithograph .... Huge poster like 

Degas ... Dancer holding her right foot in her right hand ... Bronze 1896-1911
Dancers in a rehearsal room ... Pastel on paper ... 1895-1898

Saito yoshishige .... Work ... Oil on plywood .... 1965
I like the working into wood as part of mark making ... With accent of lettering marks
Love the blue colour.

And another large one also called work .... 1961 .... Large red .... Oil on plywood

Jackson pollock .... Number 2, 1951 .... Oil on canvas
Smallish ...A2 size

Domoto hisao ..... Solution de continuity no.9 ....1964 ... Oil and acrylic on canvas
Huge ... Beautiful blac thick ridges with red poles and rectangular shapes ... Wonderful

Barbara Hepworth ... Winged figure ....brass with strings ... 1957
Just fabulous.  

Paul Cezanne ....Mont Sainte-Victoire and Chateau Noir .... 1904-1906 .... Oil on canvas
This piece was one of half a dozen that shone when viewed at a distance.

Claude Monet ..... Twilight Venice ..... 1908 .... Oil on canvas
I love the colour gradation and that it's obvious, love the strokes, again so obvious and the sh ape without much detail.

Henry Moore .... Working model for reclining Figure: prop .... Bronze .... 1976
It's small nice to see and of course that arm propped up is not on any original. I have seen two original reclining nudes in parks and they are huge. I googled to see if I could find the large model of this prop and this might be it 

  There was this white version and a black version in the Egyptian section of the Antiquities room ... Lovely shape ... Elongation before Giacommetti ...
 Another one that shone 
Can't remember if it's a Renoir or a Cezanne .... Very beautiful in real life.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

First 4 collages .. Tokyo trip

Happy antique finds in Tokyo

These are the things I picked up from that antique shop in Tokyo with the Launceston connection in this previous post

The bowls are lovely to hold, love the little wooden dolls and love love the saki glasses ...a bit of a European influence? Or maybe the other way around?   Checkoslavakia comes to mind.  I love the dolls ... Haven't seen any others in my traipsing around.

Found this on the internet .... Very happy about my finds. 

lovely blue crystal glass awaits the kiss of chilled sake. This style of glassware is referred to as kiriko, meaning cut-glass. There are a few places in Japan that have the tradition of cut-glass production, with Tokyo (or Edo) being one of them. Thus, it is appropriate to use kiriko in an Edomae sushi restaurant.
Kokeshi dolls are simply shaped, wooden dolls from Northern Honshu, which originated as souvenirs distributed at hot spring resorts during the Edo Period. Kokeshi dolls have neither arms nor legs, but a large head and a cylindrical body.
... Kokeshi dolls traditionally represented young girls and they quickly became popular for their depiction of feminine beauty. In addition their simple charm and association with childhood meant that they were often given as gifts when a child was born, as birthday presents or as symbols of rememberance when a child died...


A little more on these dolls.

Kokeshi History

 Traditional Kokeshi (Dento)
Origins of Kokeshi
Traditional Kokeshi began to be made approximately two hundred years ago sometime in the middle of the Edo period. (1603-1867) The dolls emerged out of local life and culture and were first produced in the north east area of Japan known as the Tohoku region. It is commonly thought that woodwork artisans of the time know as Kijiya, (which means woodworker in Japanese) originally specialized in wooden household utensils such as trays and bowls. Then they began to make small dolls in the winter to sell to the tourists who came to bathe in the many onsens (hot springs) near their villages. The few people who could afford the luxury of such a pastime bought the Kokeshi dolls as a souvenir and took the dolls back to their own areas where they were often passed on to the children. This, they thought, would promise a good harvest, as it was believed that it would create a positive impression on the gods if children played with the dolls.
11 Types of Traditional Kokeshi
The wooden dolls were also less expensive than other types of dolls. As Kokeshi continued to be made in various parts of the Tohoku region, their shapes and patterns became particular to a certain area. The style and skill of making the Kokeshi was passed from master to apprentice, from father to son. Traditional dolls made today can be classified under eleven types to include: Tsuchiyu, Togatta, Yajiro, Naruko, Sakunami, Yamagata, Kijiyama, Nanbu, Tsugaru, Zao-takayu, and Hijioro. The traditional Kokeshi dolls are very simple in design, originally made on hand-powered lathes.
Common Kokeshi Characteristics
Traditional Kokeshi dolls have common characteristics that consist of a basic cylindrical limbless body and a round head. Though the first dolls might have been unpainted, today most Kokeshi are painted in bright floral designs, kimonos, and other traditional patterns. Colors used were red, yellow and purple. As all the dolls are hand painted, no two faces are alike. This is perhaps the greatest charm of the Kokeshi. Some dolls are whimsical, happy and smiling, while others are serious. The woods used for Kokeshi vary. Cherry is distinguished by its darkness. Mizuko or dogwood is softer and used extensively. Itaya-kaede, a Japanese maple is also used. The wood is left outdoors to season for one to five years before it can be used to make a doll. Today, Kokeshi is recognized as one of the traditional folk arts of Japan.
Creative Kokeshi (Shingata)
Characteristics of Creative Kokeshi
While the Traditional Kokeshi exhibits a similar recognizable style and character, creative Kokeshi are completely free in terms of shape, design and color. It is the unrestrained imagination of the individual artist that creates these small works of art. Creative Kokeshi are relatively new, having developed after World War II. Their popularity has grown as people recognize their artistry. Creative Kokeshi are not made in one particular region of Japan. In fact, while many traditional Kokeshi artists are located in more rural areas, creative Kokeshi artists are often found in the cities. While traditional Kokeshi use a similar pattern in each doll, creative Kokeshi are more free in their style. Creative Kokeshi use unique techniques in making the dolls, such as engraving and baking. The result of these innovative techniques creates an artistic and beautiful doll. Though the woods used for the creative Kokeshi vary, Mizuko (dogwood) and cherry are the most common. Like the traditional Kokeshi, the wood is left outdoors to season for one to five years before it can be used.
The Craftsmanship of Kokeshi
The beauty of the creative Kokeshi is in the craftsmanship and theme that the artist is trying to express in each doll that they create. Since 1954, the prime ministerĂ¢€™s prize has been awarded each year to the best work of Creative Kokeshi. Kokeshi is now recognized as one of the traditional folk arts in Japan. There are many different styles of Kokeshi, but there is one philosophy that all Kokeshi dolls share and that is the pursuit of beauty and artistry through simplicity.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

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