The National Art Center and Meeting Itsuo Sakane

It’s my last day in Japan and after breakfast at my hotel I took the subway to Roppongi to visit the National Art Center- an imposing and spacious building designed by Kisho Kurokawa. I viewed an exhibition entitled Shadows, which featured works from the collections of the Japanese national museums by Japanese, European and American artists working in a variety of media-but predominantly photography and painting. I was familiar with most of the Western artists represented, but there were a number of Japanese artists whom I did not know, including Miho Akioka and Jiro Takamatsu. I was also happy to see Krzysztof Wodiczko’s four-channel video projection installation If You See Something… which I first saw at the Venice Biennale several years ago.

After lunch I met and interviewed Itsuo Sakane, pioneering electronic media writer, curator and educator, who has been deeply engaged in ideas about the relationship between technology and art and actively involved in the media art scene both in Japan and internationally since the late 1960’s and has been instrumental in bringing it to the attention of a wider public.

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