Events category: Talk

12 October 2016

Earth, Pigment and Stone: Artist Julie Brook’s Japan

The 2015 Daiwa Art Prize shortlisted artist Julie Brook’s practice involves making sculptural work inspired by the specific environments she inhabits using materials found to hand such as earth, pigment and stone. Her work is transient, temporal, and ephemeral; her sculptures are made of the fabric of the landscape itself. This talk will give a brief introduction to the work the artist has made in wild landscapes in Libya, Namibia and Scotland and how her recent visit to Japan is influencing her future projects.

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10 October 2016

Contemporary Botanical Art from Japan: Kusabana-zu

This talk explores the idea of traditional Japanese painting (Nihonga) through the theme of the exhibition “Contemporary Botanical Art from Japan: Kusabana-zu”, serving as a forum for participating artists to explore the dichotomy and interrelationship between the traditional and the contemporary in Nihonga and how this impacts on their own individual art. It also aims to introduce a London audience to traditional Japanese painting media and materials used in Nihonga. In particular, it presents leading academic research into the conservation and restoration of Japanese handmade paper or washi, one of the key materials used in Nihonga painting.

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26 September 2016

Artist Talk: Blue Passages by Shino Yanai

Blue Passages documents Shino Yanai’s recent performance featuring video, photography, and salvaged objects. She followed the perilous mountain route between France and Spain that was made by the German Jewish philosopher Walter Benjamin in his doomed attempt to escape the Nazis in 1940.

The artist will be joined by Dr Jonathan Whitehall to discuss ideas of migration, ethics and personal and public history in relation to her new exhibition, Blue Passages.

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7 September 2016

High School and University Articulation Reforms: Revolutionising Education in Japan

In March 2016, Japan’s Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) published further education reforms. The purpose of these reforms, the most revolutionary and comprehensive since the Second World War, is to restructure Japan’s education system, equipping students with 21st century competencies such as independent thought, creativity and initiative. Professor Takashi Otani will examine the reaction to and impact of these reforms, and consider the issues Japanese education will face in the future.

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27 July 2016

Artist Talk: The Future of Public Art

In today’s ever-changing world, how exactly has our view of publicness, commons and common spaces evolved?

Artist Kenji Yamada and curator Jason Waite are interested in exploring the intricate details of spaces closed off from society and historical places that have evolved from cultural forces. In this talk, they will discuss possible approaches to publicness as well as potential futures in our socio-cultural world.

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20 June 2016

How has the Financial Times influenced Japanese journalism?

The unexpected purchase of the Financial Times Group last year by the Nihon Keizai Shimbun surprised everyone both in Japan and in the UK. It is unprecedented for a major Japanese newspaper to purchase a highly regarded Western newspaper.

For this event, Ginko Kobayashi, author of Real Power of the Financial Times 「フィナンシャル・タイムズの実力], will be joined by financial columnist and FT journalist John Plender, to discuss the impact of the FT on Japanese journalism.

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24 May 2016

Ocean Acidification and Underwater Volcanoes in Japan

The oceans are acidifying at a rate that is unprecedented for at least the past 55 million years because they absorb around 25% of the carbon dioxide released by human activity. The coasts of Japan are already 30% more acidic than before the Industrial Revolution and look set to become 150% more acidic in our lifetimes.

Professor Jason Hall-Spencer will explain what ocean acidification is, and why it is a major environmental and economic concern for fisheries and coastal ecosystems in the NW Pacific. He will also introduce his groundbreaking three year project working with Shimoda Marine Station at the University of Tsukuba to explore the local marine life and carry out research at the CO2 seeps.

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17 May 2016

Reading the Mail of the Japanese Ambassador in Berlin

During the Second World War, the British government offered emergency Japanese languages courses to talented students in aid of the war effort. Many ended up reading the despatches of Japanese diplomats in Europe, including those of the remarkable Oshima Hiroshi, long-serving ambassador in Berlin. His despatches were invaluable in the struggle with Nazi Germany but they also had a lot to say about the Soviet Union. Oshima died in 1975, not knowing that his mail had been read throughout the war.

Why did all this have to be kept secret so long? What happened to the young men and women who learnt Japanese during the war? And why were their teachers so positive about Japan?

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16 March 2016

Joji Hattori - King of all Trades: the Multifaceted Aspects of a Musician’s Career

Joji Hattori is one of the leading Japanese musicians of his generation and has enjoyed a rather varied career as a musician, spending his first decade as a concert violinist after winning the Menuhin Competition for young violinists in 1989.

Now President of the Menuhin Competition Trust, Hattori will show us a glimpse of his world as a conductor and violinist. He will speak about his personal relationship with Yehudi Menuhin, about his multifaceted career and the role of musicians in society. The talk will be chaired by musician Michael Spencer, who will frame Hattori’s career within the larger context of Japanese music education.

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14 March 2016

Ryoichi Kurokawa: unfold

unfold is a major new work by Japanese audio-visual artist Ryoichi Kurokawa, exploring the birth and evolution of stars in an immersive and tactile audio-visual installation. unfold offers viewers an artistic, yet scientific, representation of how the solar system was born, and how our galaxy might evolve, and is the unique result of a dialogue between science and art.

The artist will be joined by Dr Vincent Minier, astrophysicist at the Institute of Research into the Fundamental Laws of the Universe‎ (CEA Irfu, Paris-Saclay), to discuss the exhibition and their cross-disciplinary practice.

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