Luxury fashion brand Louis Vuitton’s art space which occupies the 7th floor of their vast Tokyo Omotesando boutique never seizes to amaze me with their interesting exhibition program and their Traces of Disappearance exhibition is no different. With a live bird sculpture and a gummy bear mosaic that mimics traditional stained glass windows, can you really blame me?
Sometimes you don’t even have to leave the country in order to travel and see the world. You can still get your cultural fill by visiting small and slightly obscure museums such as this, the Museum of Mediterranean and Near Eastern Antiquities in Stockholm, Sweden.
Although small, the museum displays antiquities from Egypt, Cyprus as well as Greece and Rome. In order to take full advantage of what the museum has to offer, I suggest viewing the collection in combination with a tasty light lunch at their Bagdad Café. The interiors are simple but their feta cheese, aubergine salad with olives and pine nuts is absolutely amazing.
I certainly wouldn’t mind bringing a few of the beautiful white marble statues from the collection home with me. Imagine the stunning interiors and baroque garden that could be created with such additions.
Had a phenomenal Saturday evening at Drottningholm Palace with Christopher O’Regan and the dazzling actor Johan Rabaeus who’ll play the character Salieri in the upcoming play Amadeus at The Royal Dramatic Theatre, (Dramaten).
The evening was a triumphant success with a mix of theatrical readings by the talented Johan Rabaeus, then Christopher O’Regan narrating the audience through the good and the bad of life during the late 1700s with classical interludes performed by a small ensemble playing music by Mozart, Kraus, Roman and more.
Saatchi gallery, often known for it’s preference towards shock art pleasantly surprised me this time with its exhibition entitled Paper. What a neat idea having an exhibition with the theme being the material in which the art is made of and in this case it’s paper. Having done quite a bit of origami myself in the past, I know the pros and cons of working with such a fragile, lightweight material and was therefore extra curious to see how various artists decided to tackle this challenge.
Japanese artist Yuken Teruya used something as ordinary and readily available as recycled paper shopping bags to construct a series of works such as this “Golden Arch Parkway” from a fast food McDonald’s paper bag.
Bumped into this little cutie outside 109 while out and about in Shibuya. It goes without saying that this crowned chihuahua drew big crowds (mainly girls) preoccupied with exclaiming “かわいい” (cute/adorable) and snapping pics with their blinged out pink cell phones.
The chihuahua has a friend through the Hachikō monument outside Shibuya Station which was unveiled in 1934 after the incredibly sweet story of the relationship between a golden brown akita dog named Hachikō and his owner Hidesaburō Ueno. The story goes that Hachikō would meet his owner at the end of every day by Shibuya Station and continued to do so daily even nine years after his owner’s passing. If that’s not dedication, then I don’t know what is. A film has also been made inspired by the true tale starring Richard Gere and entitled Hachiko: A Dog’s Tale (2009).
Be warned, Shibuya and Tokyo in general is not for the faint hearted as weaving through infinite crowds of people is a daily occurrence. You’d think that it might be a bearable experience during the weekday and within office hours but as I think this picture proves it makes little difference.
As a lovely commentator mentioned in my last post, I just finished co-curating UAL’s latest art exhibition Xhibit. So, before I show you the completed product I thought I might share a few snap shots revealing the less glamorous side of the work that goes into curating and putting on exhibitions which is the busy, messy and very technical side of it all.
Although the empty exhibition space might seem slightly daunting at first glance, it’s actually a very exciting process like being able to work on a blank canvas and arrange something entirely from scratch. Planning, a good eye and some careful measuring are essential skills to have. A friend recently compared the art of curating to interior decorating and they definitely had a point, as both involve the intricate arrangement of objects with regard to color combination and artistic effect in order to create an atmosphere and whole.
The fact that Xhibit didn’t require submissions to have a common theme and the work was selected through a panel of judges that weren’t involved in the curating of the exhibition made our task slightly more difficult however, nothing that a team of pros couldn’t handle. Xhibit welcomed entries and submissions from current students across all of the six colleges that make up UAL with the aim of showcasing a selection of the up and coming talent.
The selected artists this year included Haffendi Anuar, Andrej Bako, Arthur Beardmore-Gray, Farhad Berahman, Charlie Chrobnik, James Clapham, Macovei Dani Costin, Injoo Lee, Hyunjeong Lim, Tuli-Gal Litvak, Rafaela Lopez, Annalaura Masciavè, Isabelle May Tollitt, Kota Okuda, Lesley Omara, Philip Rhys Mattews, Pippa Roberts, Svetlana Stein, Marianne Thoermer, Birgit Toke Tauka Frietman, Adriano Vessichelli, Demelza Watts, Longwen Wei, Alexander Wood and Anna Zavialova.
Sometimes there’s really nothing better than spending a wonderfully long day out in a beautiful park. Yes, I’m certainly romanticizing the reality of the situation which is cold, limp hands, a dripping nose and possibly even sore feet but today it felt worth it.
Judith Scott, Untitled, 1993, mixed media.
While wandering through the park, I also stopped by the Serpentine Gallery to check out their latest exhibition Rosemarie Trockel: A Cosmos. When I saw that the exhibition was additionally supported by the luxury Italian brand Bvlgari, I simply couldn’t suppress my curiosity. However, as it turns out the exhibition just wasn’t for me. Rosemarie Trockel’s work was featured alongside the work of other artists from a variety of disciplines and many of the artworks and objects on display were selected by Trockel herself while conversing with curator Lynne Cooke.
Stopped by the Royal Academy of Arts to catch their exhibition in the main galleries on bronze sculptures. With long anticipating crowds, I was the lucky guest of a VIP friend and therefore swept on past the long lines, but brace yourselves otherwise.
Head of Horse, 2nd or 1st Century BCE, Bronze, H.81 cm, Pug by Hubert Gerhard, c. 1600, Bronze, 45 x 23 x 65 cm.
The large exhibition was thematic and featured a range of antiquities ranging from figures, heads, gods, animals and objects as well as a few more modern works of art using the highly durable medium of bronze. My favorite section would have to be the figures section which displayed some amazing large-scale ancient Florentine males or more accurately warriors of physique. Oooooo, intrigued yet?
It was a lovely exhibition but I suppose it might not appeal to everyone by catering to a very specific audience. The exhibitions that I’ve so far had the pleasure of seeing at the Royal Academy have all been tremendously good with beautifully curated, extensive collections of the best quality. Well worth a visit!
Stopped by Ulriksdal Palace to enjoy the lovely regal view but also to take a wander in their fabulously symmetrical palace garden. The bosque was designed by famous Hårleman and makes a big change from the free flowing nature mess that I’m dealing with in my personal garden. I’m tempted to get one of these stylish iron gates to shut my garden behind and just let the wild flow at its own free will. It would be preferable if all of the bugs and insects would stay behind the iron gate as well, I’m not a big fan of the creepy crawlers that I’ve recently met.
Ulriksdal Palace was originally known as Jakobsdal after its owner Jacob De la Gardie, who commissioned the architect Hans Jacob Kristler in 1643-1645 to build a country retreat in the Renaissance style. It wasn’t until Queen Dowager Hedvig Eleonora purchased the Palace in 1669 that the palace began to take its current form. In 1684, she gave the palace to her newborn grandson Prince Ulrik, and it was thereafter known as Ulriksdal.
Could gardening get any better than this? Beautifully cut green grass, tightly trimmed hedges in sharp squares and straight lines, a fountain and wild boar statues as that extra fierce detail. Such a triumph to see!
The garden also showed examples of how they were traditional used for the very practical reason of providing food for the dashing people living in the palace. Talk about sustainable living, who needs an organic supermarket when you can instead take a short walk into your garden and pick up whatever you fancy. My garden would be filled with darling berries such as blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, grapes and other delicious finger foods that I could casually snack on while reclining on my stylishly draped chaise longue. What would be in your garden?
I bravely decided to give nature another go by smelling some of the beautiful flowers found in the garden.
This lovely building seen in the distance is the orangery museum which houses not only plants, but also an exhibition of Swedish sculptures from the 1700s-1900s from the Swedish National Museum’s collection.
My favorite flower/plant from the otherwise vast collection.
The Palace Chapel, executed in a Dutch neo-Renaissance style, with inspiration from Venice was designed by architect Fredrik Wilhelm Scholander. It was inaugurated by Queen Lovisa on her name day, August 25, 1865.
By a small body of water on the property of Ulriksdal Palace stand a duo of statues called “Blackamoors Pulling Net”. They were executed by artist Pehr Henrik Lundgren in 1845 for Haga Park. Now the statues stand here, by Igelbäcken. The statues stand on both sides of the water that is connected by a bridge and the two men are seen gathering fish with their nets cast out into the canal.
If you’re wondering why I enjoy visiting palaces so much, the answer is simple. It’s because it’s like time travel, visiting another century only has to be a short car ride away. It’s also extremely fascinating learning about what life would have been like in the 18th century for example. I think I would have fit in perfectly with a powdered wig and a darling wide gown. But then again, I’m romanticizing the time, imagine living without electricity, heating, and so many other luxuries that we enjoy regularly. What century would you choose to travel to?