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    Simply Southern Saturdays~Museum Week: Friday

    Saturday, June 4, 2011

    God is good, friends!

    After the torrents of rain on Thursday, Friday was nothing but sun, sun, and more glorious sun. You could practically feel the vitamin D seeping into your skin. It may have been a little warm, but the scallywag and I were out the door the moment he woke from his nap!

    Fridays destination on Museum Week?

    The National Art Center of Tokyo.

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    If you've been following along for a while, you'll probably remember that this was the first museum the children and I visited after we moved to Tokyo.

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    It's fairly modern by design: dark hard wood floors, curving glass walls, cement structures that jut from floors in the interior. It's very, very cool.

    Back in June during our first visit, the main exhibit was filled with some of my favorite artists from the Post-Impressionism period.

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    Another Post-Impressionism exhibit will begin next week, with pieces arriving from the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. At the moment, however, the main exhibit is the NACT's Annual Show of Contemporary Art.

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    Image courtsey of artnet.com

    Unlike the contemporary art seen earlier in the week at the Mori Art Museum, these were pieces that I could appreciate. To me, this was the embodiment of what "contemporary" means in regards to art. There were many intriguing and beautiful pieces, as well as some odd ones, but I understood what the artists were doing. They were truly delightful works.

    The wee one and I walked the rooms, quietly taking in the paintings, photographs, and installation pieces. Or at least we tried. Sometimes the little guy became a little excited when he saw something he could easily identify.

    His favorite?

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    Image courtsey of saatchi-gallery.co.uk

    Every single piece by Kristin Baker.

    An American artist from Stamford, Connecticut, many of her works on display showed abstract moments from auto races. Her intention was to show the dynamics of speed, whether it was in the movement of the cars or the lack thereof during a crash. Not only did this have my mind travelling back to our time in Charlotte~home of the ever popular NASCAR races~but to my son, who loves all things car related.

    He went nuts.

    Thankfully the docents didn't seem to mind. In fact, they actually cracked a smile or two. Needless to say, the scallywag was not happy when we moved onto the next room.

    It may have taken a few covert handfuls of pretz' to bring his mood back around. By that time we found several more artists, some of whom I really liked.

    New York native Tara Donovan's installation art was incredibly fun!

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    Image courtesy of kristyhall.co.uk

    Each display was very textural. From her cloud-like wall piece, to one that involved thousands of metal circles arranged in various patterns, they were hard to resist.

    It was at this point I was very glad the little guy agreed to ride in his stroller, because he really wanted to reach out and touch everything!

    I'm pretty sure this particular act would not have garnered many smiles from the docents.

    Iwakuma Rikiya, an artist from Tokyo, was also an instant favorite.

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    Image courtesy of nroom-artspace.com

    His art was very delicate and ethereal. I wasn't quite sure what each piece was supposed to be. They were done in watercolors and seemed to have a "drip and drag" quality to them. But many times I thought I saw a volcano or a temple. Considering his provenance, it's quite possible that my eyes weren't deceiving me! In any case, I thought his work was just lovely. It was gentle, and what kept it from being just an ordinary watercolor was the fact that it seemed to be painted within large, rectangular grid pattern.

    Can you see that in the above photo?

    By the time the scallywag and I had completed our tour through the exhibit, and our first Museum Week, I came to a conclusion: going out on a daily basis to visit our local museums was the best idea. I was so glad we went~though maybe for not the reasons you think.

    Children just aren't given enough exposure to museums.

    It's not that I don't understand why. Yes, children can be disruptive, yes, some would be bored to tears, and again yes, you usually don't see many out and about in museums that aren't aimed at their age group. But as much as we try to get children to use their imagination, it's a wonderful thing to let them see what the dreams and creations of others can look like. It allows them to see that everyone's vision is unique and special, just as theirs is.

    There are ways to keep them comfortable, at ease, entertained. And you would not believe what they will take away from their experience! If my little guy can find humor in something I roll my eyes at, or total fascination with a race car on canvas, then something really good is happening.

    I'll be the first to tell you that my almost three-year old can be a handful at times, but if we have these amazing resources at our fingertips, why not use them? I cannot find justification in not exposing my children to works that range from the Masters to contemporary artists.

    After this week I'm even more convinced of the necessity of art in a young child's life. And for that reason...as well as for the simple fact that it has been so much fun...we're extending Museum Week!

    Come back next week and see where our adventures take us!

    Thank you all for stopping by and leaving such encouraging remarks. It's been wonderful to know that we're not the only ones taking something away from our daily jaunts around Tokyo.

    My best to you all...

    2 Responses to “
    Simply Southern Saturdays~Museum Week: Friday

    Ally Garner said...

    I can't tell you how sad i am this week's series is coming to an end. I've looked forward to each & every one of these posts. It's been such a halcyon feast for my eyes and soul!

    I still vividly remember my Mom taking me to museums, arts events, ballets, Pop symphony, Library readings, etc as a child. They are some of my best memories, truly. This will undoubtedly make a lasting impression on your precious little one as well.

    This was such a brilliant idea-i can't thank you enough for sharing your adventures & incredibly beautiful images with us.

    I hope you & the family have a fantastic weekend, sweet friend!

    Georgia Girl said...

    Awhh I have loved looking back at your week of museums....this was really neat to see things such as this.

    Love seeing about the little dolls or angels.

    Thanks for shaing...oh that lemon tart looked so yummy!