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18 October 2017

Elemental Journey – An Artist Residency in Japan

In March 2017 British contemporary artist Amanda Chambers travelled to Japan for a one-month residency in ceramics at the Shigaraki Ceramic Cultural Park in Shiga Prefecture, to develop her growing interest in clay. This talk, illustrated with images from the residency, highlights some of the key themes that have subsequently emerged in Chambers’ works, and it is accompanied by a temporary exhibition of selected ceramic works which were the result of her stay.

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11 October 2017

Absence and Ambience - Takashi Kawashima in conversation with Dr Marco Bohr

Takashi Kawashima creates works to suggest ‘absent’ stories, which recount catastrophes caused by overwhelming natural powers, tracing the memory of the land via the imaginary narrative woven by the artist’s own experiences and questions. The artist will be joined in conversation by Dr Marco Bohr, Postgraduate Programme Director for the Arts at Loughborough University, to discuss his practice and the works on show.

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4 October 2017

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Absence and Ambience by Takashi Kawashima

Takashi Kawashima creates works to suggest ‘absent’ stories, which recount catastrophes caused by overwhelming natural powers, tracing the memory of the land via the imaginary narrative woven by the artist’s own experiences and questions. In the artist’s first UK solo exhibition, Kawashima will present a collection of fragmented stories of catastrophes which happened after the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake. The artist will also exhibit works that examine the uncertainty surrounding us in our daily lives through the motif of ‘shadow’.

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3 October 2017

Private View: Absence and Ambience by Takashi Kawashima

Takashi Kawashima creates works to suggest ‘absent’ stories, which recount catastrophes caused by overwhelming natural powers, tracing the memory of the land via the imaginary narrative woven by the artist’s own experiences and questions. In the artist’s first UK solo exhibition Absence and Ambience, one of the two rooms of the gallery is dedicated to the project Unfinished Topography/Collection, a collection of fragmented stories of catastrophes which happened after the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake. In the other room, Kawashima examines the uncertainty surrounding us in our daily lives through the motif of ‘shadow’.

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2 October 2017

How to cope with North Korea: what can Japan and U.K. do?

In this seminar, Professor Hitoshi Tanaka, Dr Jim Hoare and Dr Lauren Richardson discussed nuclear and missile development in North Korea, which continues to be aggressively pursued despite sanctions from the United Nations Security Council. What are the essential elements for a diplomatic solution, if any? Can diplomacy succeed?

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26 September 2017

Kumamoto: Earthquakes and Art

In April 2016, Kumamoto Prefecture was hit by two massive earthquakes in two successive nights. The Contemporary Art Museum, Kumamoto, was damaged, but most of the artworks were saved, and it was able to reopen within a month as a cultural hub. Director of the Museum Takeshi Sakurai talked about his work there both before and after the earthquake, as well as the progress of reconstruction in Kumamoto more broadly.

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20 September 2017

Kotan Chronicles: Selected Poems, 1928-1943

Kotan Chronicles, a collection of texts translated into English for the first time, takes the reader into the lives of the Ainu, the indigenous people of Hokkaido, and their interaction with Japanese settlers in the 1920s and 1930s, a period when the traditional world of the kotan, or Ainu village, was being destroyed by the rapid development of the island. In this talk, Dr Nadine Willems discussed the poetry of Genzō Sarashina as both historical document and literary expression.

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14 September 2017

Private View and Artist Talk ─ Decorative but Calm

While working to promote their traditional works, the artists of Decorative but Calm have realised that craftsmanship is an international language; crafts appeal to the personal sensibility of each viewer. In this exhibition the pursuit of elaborate designs aims, in a true expression of Japanese aesthetics, to create a “decorative but calm” space for reflection that does not intend to overwhelm the viewer.

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5 September 2017

A.B. Mitford and the Birth of Japan as a Modern State

In this talk, Dr Robert Morton presented a profile of A.B. Mitford as a young British diplomat and writer living in Japan during the turbulent years of 1866 to 1870. With his aristocratic bearing, charm, looks, perfect manners and remarkable courage, Mitford fitted into Japan perfectly. On the other hand, he was lucky to survive his posting.

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25 July 2017

The Teabowl: East and West

In this talk, Dr Bonnie Kemske, author of the new book The Teabowl: East & West, looked at the context of the teabowl as it arose in chanoyu, or Japanese tea ceremony, and the changes it has undergone through the centuries.

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20 July 2017

Private View: The Kyoto Tea House - An Impression

In this exhibition, several famous Kyoto tea houses will be introduced through photographs, architectural diagrams and other forms, to convey an understanding of key concepts such as wabi-sabi.
Japan’s leading calligrapher Tomoko Kawao offered a calligraphy demonstration during the private view.

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