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TokyoScope NEWS: Godzilla, Junji Ito, Ai☆Madonna Mysterious Summit
A round up of recent Japanese pop culture headlines and ephemera
Art: Ai☆Madonna Solo Exhibition in NYC
Ai☆Madonna is a Tokyo-based artist who has carved out a space for herself with her anime-inspired paintings, illustrations, 3D art works and live-drawings, along with music + fashion collaborations with idol groups like DEMPAGUMI.inc.
Now, Ai☆Madonna’s is having her very first US solo exhibition in NYC. Ai☆Madonna: The Tame Dog and The Hare will be on view at CR Gallery from July 7 to July 29, 2023.
In order to help spread the word, Ai☆Madonna has released an impressionistic promo video on YouTube that shows her technique up close as she paints some of the images seen in her US show.
Movies: Kaiju: Icons: Happy Birthday, Eiji Tsuburaya!
Eiji Tsuburaya, who passed away in 1970, was the special effects filmmaking genius behind not only Godzilla and the other titanic kaiju from Toho Studios, but also the prime mover behind Ultraman and other superheroes on the small screen. Along with director Ishiro Honda, and producer Tomoyuki Tanaka, Tsuburaya helped push Japanese cinema into new frontiers and created iconic images that still resonate with audiences today.
Tsuburaya was born 122 years ago today on July 7, 1901 (although some sources have his birthday as the 10th, fans tend to celebrate today), but that iconic hat and suit look when lecturing giant creatures never goes out of style…
August Ragone’s book Eiji Tsuburaya: Master of Monsters remains the definitive English language bio.
Fashion: Icons: Japanese Supermodel Ai Tominaga Returns to the Paris Haute Couture Runway For The First Time in 12 Years
Ai Tominaga, a renowned Japanese supermodel, made a remarkable comeback on the Paris Haute Couture runway after a hiatus of 12 years. At the age of 40, she walked for Schiaparelli on July 3, 2023. Previously, in 2020, Tominaga returned to the Paris Ready-To-Wear catwalk after a gap of 10 years, also showcasing for Schiaparelli. While she continues to be active in the fashion industry in Japan, Tominaga has gained recognition as a fashion icon, TV personality, and actress in recent years.
Otaku cred: She played the demon Sirene in the 2004 live action movie adaptation of Go Nagai’s Devilman manga.
Manga: Art: Fashion: Junji Ito’s Mysterious Summit 2023
World famed Japanese horror manga creator Junji Ito has taken over the Gallery of Hakaba store inside Tokyo’s Nakano Broadway otaku supermall for the month of July (which makes sense as summer is thought of as the spookiest time of year in Japan).
There’s a dizzying array of goods on sale from the master of terror, including clothes, accessories, and art prints inspired by the scares features in manga like Tomie and Uzumaki.
Here’s some of my favorites from the collection, but you are going to want to see all the goods online. It’s like Christmas, or Halloween, came early for Junji Ito fans.
Art: Events: Artnet Profiles the Power Players Behind Japan's New International Art Fair, Tokyo Gendai
Artnet published an English-language article that profiles the influential figures behind Tokyo's highly anticipated new art fair, "Tokyo Gendai." Over the years, we have heard murmurs of dissatisfaction with Art Fair Tokyo (Japan's longest-running art fair), particularly regarding its lack of international appeal. Interestingly, the criticism that it caters exclusively to Japan and neglects the global audience is the same complaint often voiced about Tokyo Fashion Week and similar events. The noteworthy individuals featured in Artnet's Tokyo Gendai article, including Ryutaro Takahashi, Japan's most influential contemporary art collector, and Tim Blum, an internationally renowned dealer, demonstrate that Japan's art world is finally committed to establishing a viable international art fair in Tokyo.
Tokyo Gendai is open to the public July 7 through 9 at Pacifico Yokohama
Retro: Random Mode
Robert Smith x 8 Beat Gag manga
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