Having achieved spectacular field workplace outcomes with its Vermeer film, the Exhibition on Display strand makes little bit of a detour from its consolation zone with its newest movie: an summary of inventive takes on Japan’s megalopolis and capital metropolis, starting from Edo-era work to avenue efficiency occasions. Having established itself by largely specializing in the golden eras of artwork historical past, dominated by the large names of the Renaissance and the late nineteenth century, right here the web is unfold to incorporate modern artists who might be (largely) not particularly acquainted to non-devotees. And whereas the conduit for the movie is the Tokyo: Art & Photography exhibition staged by Oxford’s Ashmolean museum in 2021, that is removed from a normal gallery tour: the method is near-total immersion in Tokyo itself, together with a sequence of interviews with a string of practitioners together with “girly photographer” Mika Ninagawa, veteran pop-era painter Keiichi Tanaami, and representatives of a wacky collective referred to as Chim-Pom.
The outcomes are as good-looking as ever, with the movie dominated by spectacular images of Tokyo’s city panorama in all its glory. For somewhat apparent causes, not a lot of town survives from earlier than the second world conflict, however there are traces of historic Japan to be seen, and accounts – by way of Seventeenth-century depictions of the marshy, sparsely populated locale – of the embryonic Edo earlier than it turned the fortress of the Tokugawa shogunate. Nowadays we’re in fact rather more acquainted with the Blade Runner-esque metropolis of glowing neon and retrofitted chaos, however Tokyo as proven right here appears to have moved on once more, with loads of pristine new-builds and fancy monuments.
How a lot you reply to this movie will, little doubt, rely in your response to the artists concerned; all of them come throughout as approachable, enthusiastic and articulate. You’ll be able to see, although, that this can be a riskier movie for Exhibition on Display than, say, Leonardo: The Works or Van Gogh’s Sunflowers – and even these on extra shadowy figures comparable to Mary Cassatt or Edward Hopper. Even so, there’s so much to carry the curiosity right here, with the overarching sense of a metropolis of boundless inventive vitality.