The Classic, The Contemporary & The Surreal


Japan’s art scene spans from the most classical paintings to the most modern and unique cinema. It is quite an impressive span of arts, and the United Kingdom has opted to showcase a lot of it for many years. The Victoria and Albert Museum’s Japanese collection has been around since its beginnings in 1852. It includes a lot of works from ceramics to woodwork, from paintings to sculptures and from metalwork to contemporary studio arts.

But beyond what is classical Japanese, many modern artists from the Asian mecca keep emerging. London’s Victoria Miro gallery is now the home Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama. Sculptures, paintings and installations are exhibited throughout several rooms. Her modern approach to the most tribal things - like her love for pumpkins - is a testament of the surrealism, minimalism and pop-art craft that she possesses.

Japanese Film Tour

The Japanese culture is also plastered through cinematic works of art.This year’s Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme (which took place earlier in the year), highlighted the highs and lows of life in Japanese Cinema. This year’s tour was inspired in Akira Kurosawa’s film Ikiru, and brought to the United Kingdom a selection of films that gave a unique perspective on people’s lives.


There are many other arts the Japanese excel at. From dancing to readings, from theatre to music, the Japanese Foundation’s Art & Culture section is far from dull. You can check out their artistic and cultural events in their website.