Those who happened to look up at the Tokyo sky last Friday may have been amused — or disturbed — by the sight of a giant human face hovering silently above them. The uncanny hot air ballon is the work of a Japanese artist collective known as 目 (“Mé”), and the black-and-white face printed on it was selected from over 1,000 images submitted online, though their identity has not been revealed.
Titled “Masayume,” which translates to “prophetic dream,” the aerial piece was launched from a park in the Shibuya district as part of the 2021 Tokyo Tokyo Festival organized in advance of the Tokyo Olympics. The games are set to open this Friday despite public opposition largely centered on the possible spread of COVID-19 during the games.
The idea for the piece came to Mé member and artist Haruka Kojin in a dream when she was a student in junior high school.
“Amid our current crisis, which has been going on for more than a year, the clear structure to plan and execute something that has previously supported us is collapsing,” said the collective in its artist’s statement. “Even though we are taking steps to navigate this reality, the feeling of being real in our daily lives is as uncertain and unclear as if it were far into the future.”
“‘Masayume’ will be carried out suddenly and without prior notice nor a clear reason, just like an image a 14-year-old Japanese girl saw in a dream, momentarily disabling the ordinary,” the statement continues.
The work has been met with a mixed reception, ranging from humor to more subversive interpretations. Some have likened Mé’s piece to The Hanging Balloons, a story by the Japanese horror mangaka Junji Ito in which floating heads with metal nooses set out to kill their human doppelgangers.
This week, artist studios in Harlem, Tennessee, Philadelphia, and Brooklyn.
The museum enlisted the help of Linda Bove, the first Deaf actor to be part of Sesame Street’s recurring cast, to help bring artworks from the collection to a Deaf audience.
This exhibition marks 20 years of Arrechea’s solo career with watercolors, sculptures, and multimedia installations created specifically for ArtYard in Frenchtown, New Jersey.
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A painting now exhibited at the Nasjonalmuseet captures Judith and her maidservant in the moment after slaying Holofernes and before their escape, as though veritably peering out of frame.
The New York-based, globally linked, and practice-focused curatorial program for professionals at the School of Visual Arts offers the opportunity to create three funded exhibitions.
The statue was found in a town square in Philippi and adorned a building that may have been a public fountain in the Byzantine period.
In an age dominated by narcissism and material excess, Acheson’s anti-heroic position as an admirer of other artists should be something that we reflect upon.
Featuring over 70 installations and performances at the George Washington University’s historic Flagg Building, the Corcoran’s end-of-year showcase is now available for virtual viewing.
Inspired by Charles Babbage’s idea of air as “atmospheric memory,” In the Air considers air as a common space that belongs to and affects the whole of humanity.
The episode focused on Western museums’ hesitant repatriation efforts and auction houses’ questionable consignment practices.
The committee’s main responsibilities will be to shape policy goals, stimulate arts philanthropy, and advocate for the expansion of federal backing of the cultural sector.