「直島銭湯 I♥湯」I♥ユー

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The artist who created this unique and delightful sento Shinro Ohtake (大竹伸朗), must have known I was coming, because just as I entered the hot water, Fripp & Eno‘s 1975 ambient album Evening Star began to play. It was impossible for me to leave without listening to the entire 45 minute album. Needless to say, I had a good long soak.

You can listen to track 2, on YouTube. Try it in the bath.

Thinking Out Loud in Naoshima

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I’m spending a couple of days in Naoshima recovering from several weeks of publication and reviewing deadlines, administrative duties, and too many long meetings.

No photos allowed inside the splendid contemporary art museums here, so instead I’ve tested the inadequacy of (my) words by recording some spontaneous thoughts while viewing artworks. The following unedited 25 minute ramble is completely off the top and in all likelihood boring or ridiculous.

Joseph Beuys in Ubud, Bali

It has been seven years since I was on the magical island of Bali. So magical that I managed to capture the voice of Joseph Beuys while doing some field recordings in the rice paddies surrounding Ubud:

(A note of thanks to Ableton, Leonardo of Pisa (aka Fibonacci) and, not least, Ubudweb.



I’m visiting Tokyo for a couple of days to work on an article with a colleague. I’ll also have some time for museum and art gallery visits. First stop: Mori Art Museum in the Roppongi Hills complex, where I caught two shows today, including a major solo exhibition by one of East Asia’s leading contemporary artists, Lee Bul. The show is billed as the “First large scale solo exhibition by Asia’s leading female artist.” I’m not sure whether or not Lee Bul is Asia’s leading female artist. Her artfacts.net ranking is dropping. But her work certainly has great intellectual depth and originality. I may post something separately about the show.

Picture-taking was not allowed inside the Lee Bul show. Here are a few shots taken afterwards.

Spotted in the Mori Art Museum bookshop: Japanese and English catalogues for the recent exhibition on the Metabolist architectural movement, and Rem Koolhaas‘ recent book on the subject. More about this in another future post.

There are some stylishly dressed people in the Mori Arts Museum. I liked this lady’s blue and black colour scheme, to which the photo does no justice.

The plaza outside the Mori Tower has a cosmopolitan atmosphere that recalls parts of Montreal. This Louise Bourgeois spider sculpture contributes to the feeling.

Both Google and Baidu have offices in the Mori Tower, as do Goldman-Sachs and Barclays. Rent must be high and things seem expensive here.

Witnessed earlier in Yuraku-cho on the way to Roppongi from Tokyo station:

After seeing prices in Roppongi Hills complex, it is much easier to understand why everyone is desperate to win the lottery.

Inside Roppongi station, on the Hibiya line. Wherever we go, we’re soon reminded of home.