Rare Exhibits in Toronto: May 15 - August 5

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By A Correspondence

Two equally amazing and unusual photo exhibitions of seldom seen art and artifacts as well as historic 19th century samurai will consecutively be showing at the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre (6 Garamond Court, North York, ON M3C 1Z5):

I. Signs of the Intangible:     15th May - 27th June

Highlighting 1400 years of continuity in Japan’s performing arts, 68 outstanding photographic images of rare artifacts and dance performances taken by Tokyo-based photographer extraordinaire, Miro Ito, including sculptures and masks never before exhibited outside Japan as well as topical film shorts of hers are presented.

Co-organizer Andreas Boettcher (Media Art League) emphasized that this is an extremely rare opportunity to gain a “never-seen-before” perspective on how these outstanding tangible and intangible arts and traditions interact: 8th century Buddhist sculptures or theatrical masks reflecting Indian and even Hellenistic influences (that came to Japan in the 7th century via the Silk Road), Noh and Kobudo drama with its 600 year tradition, as well as contemporary dance performances such as Butoh.

II. The LAST of the SAMURAI: 30th June - 5th August

2018 marks the 150th anniversary of Japan’s Meiji Restoration of imperial rule in 1868 when the island nation ended its over 2 1/2 centuries of self-imposed isolation, and opened its doors to the outside world and modern technologies, setting the stage for its breakneck modernization in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Co-organizer Andreas Boettcher (Media Art League) points out that this rare exhibition of 49 historic photographs, owned by JCII - Japan Camera Industry Institute (Tokyo), provides a fascinating insight for the casual and serious observer alike with unusual and historic photographic images of the last samurai on their first diplomatic missions to North America in the 1860s and 1870s.

Co-organizers: MEDIA ART LEAGUE and JCII - Japan Camera Industry Institute

MEDIA ART LEAGUE is a media and art collective headquartered in Tokyo with constituent branches in Toronto, New York, and Berlin.

Collaborating with Japanese art foundations, museums/libraries, as well as academic, governmental, media organizations, etc., it strives to realize, share and exchange art and cultural projects to promote cross-border awareness and understanding.

Japan Camera Industry Institute (JCII) is the primary association of Japan’s camera and photographic equipment industry. Besides setting industry standards and quality control/certification norms, it operates a museum with extensive collections of photography equipment as well as invaluable photographic images including many of the original first photographs taken in Japan during the late 19th century (such as those in the exhibitions introduced here).

JULY 2018

Vol. 12 - No. 12


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