I returned from Tokyo on the Shinkansen on Monday evening after spending 4 days in Japan's biggest city. Tokyo makes Osaka look tiny, even though it is not. It was quite overwhelming yet I had an enjoyable time there.
Design Festa was really not much to speak of, and despite there being a couple of artists whose work interested me, I was not really impressed with the event itself.
An exhibition that was most impressive however, was one I saw at the Ueno Royal Museum, which featured the works of two contemporary Japanese artists - Makoto Aida and Akira Yamaguchi. I went to see this exhibition on the suggestion made to me by fellow Australian artist living in Japan, Marcel Cousins, and I was not disappointed. Although I was not awestruck by every piece on show, I was most impressed with the exhibition as a whole. Many of the works, by both artists, possessed such fine detail and a number of the larger scale works by Makoto Aida had me captured in front of the canvas for long periods.
Whilst in Tokyo, the work of South African born artist, Marlene Dumas, was brought to my attention. Though I admit to knowing nothing about this artist prior to my visit to Tokyo, I have since looked into her work and career with the help of the World Wide Web and find myself rather intrigued.
I spent my last day in Tokyo on my own, exploring Asakusa and enjoying a bit of the more 'traditional Japan'...and remembering how rewarding travelling alone can be.
Overall, the trip to Tokyo was an inspiring one. And I must say, those Harajuku girls are something else.
I am due to fly home to Melbourne next week and although I will miss Japan, I am looking forward to creating a fresh new space in which to paint.