Friday, May 20, 2011


I just went to see the exhibition "SHARAKU" at Tokyo National Museum.  It is fortunate that all the works except one that are on loan from overseas museums are here in Japan, after the major earthquake.  It is of course an excellent exhibition:  A great line-up of works and a clever layout that follows the 10-month career of the mysterious artist. 

Theories abound as to who Sharaku was.  Though I really don't care who he was, I kept thinking of  a theory while I was in the museum.  What if "Sharaku" was a group of artists or business persons who promised to carry out the 10-month project under cover?  Perhaps the artists took turns and that was the reason for the change of trends within the short period of time? 

In any case, it doesn't change the fact that Sharaku has left great works!

Monday, May 9, 2011

L'Amour Fou

Recently I saw a movie titled "L'Amour Fou."   It is a documentary on the life of Yves Saint Laurent and his lifetime lover and partner Pierre Bergé.  The film starts in Christie's where the couple's enormous amount of art collection gets auctioned after Saint Laurent's death. Obviously art was integral to the couple's life together.  It could be a source of inspiration, a symbol of success and a reflection of their shared sense of beauty.

The film is entitled simply "Yves Saint Laurent" in Japanese.  I agree that it must have been the best title in terms of marketing, but at the same time it has lost the connotations that the original title contained, such as passion, obsession and devotion.

It seemed to me that Bergé's decision of letting go of the art objects that once filled the couple's house was almost equivalent to the ritual of scattering the ashes of the deceased.