• Experience Japan’s finest art, virtually

    People & Culture_Story

    Experience Japan’s finest art, virtually


While the events of the last almost two years have put a hold on most folks' plans to enjoy Japan's rich and vibrant culture, the team at the Japan Cultural Expo are doing what they can to bring the country's best exhibits to you.

The recently launched 'Japan Cultural Expo VIRTUAL PLATFORM', a new initiative by the Japan Cultural Expo project, is a virtual art festival that combines "real" experiences at physical venues and "virtual" experiences through online digital content. Those paying close attention to recent happenings in Japan's art world will find this a lifeline as the platform will also update those interested in what's happening here in Japan, as physical projects of the Japan Cultural Expo will also be posted online.

All the content is posted in English and Japanese, and the design and interface of the platform should be intuitive, utilizing the traditional museum building structure and layout transformed for the interactive virtual space. The platform, in a nutshell, is a collection of some of the finest artworks in Japan, including iconic pieces like Hokusai's 'Great Wave Over Kanagawa,' with more pieces set to be added as time goes on.

The platform's malleability and potential for growth look to be one of its biggest drawcards. In a recent press event introducing the opening of this virtual arts festival, Tokura Shunichi, the Commissioner for Cultural Affairs, stated that looking further into the future, after this year's event is all done and dusted, "even we [the organization] don't know what form it might take." Its open-ended and innovative design offers the possibility for this platform to give light to more overlooked and possibly under showcased artists and forms. It's a new frontier for the country's art community.

Currently, some of the content includes exhibitions of cultural properties from the Jomon period (13,000 – 500 BC), Buddhist statues and other forms of sculpture, ukiyoe woodblock prints, kōgei (Japanese art crafts), kimono, contemporary art, fashion, manga, and anime. There is also a showcase of the traditional performing arts of kabuki, noh, kyogen, and bunraku, as well as contemporary performing arts, art festivals, Ainu culture, and various hands-on projects for cultural properties.

For those uninitiated, the Japan Cultural Expo is a project developed to promote Japanese art and its values to audiences both domestic and abroad. It's a year-round event timed to coincide with the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics as a way to capture the attention of the globe and use that attention to showcase Japanese art in all its forms.

Through special exhibits, talks, press events, and now a virtual platform, the Japan Cultural Expo cover eight key fields of art; Art and Cultural Treasures; Performing Arts; Media Arts; Lifestyle Arts, Literary Arts, and Music; Food Culture and Nature; Design and Fashion; Inclusive Society and Coexistence of Cultures; Disaster Recovery. Its theme for this edition is 'Humanity and Nature in Japan.'

Check out the platform here and for more information on the Japan Cultural Expo, visit the website.

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People & Culture_