The information about exhibits, provided in this calendar, is intended to introduce Japan-related events in the Greater Boston, and New England area.

For all non-JSB-organized exhibits please check directly with the organization producing it to confirm all times, dates and event details. The Japan Society of Boston is not responsible for any changes or inaccuracies in information about events not sponsored by the JSB.

For information about special events, check out our All Events page.

Upcoming events

    • 30 Sep 2017
    • 03 Jun 2018
    • Museum of Fine Arts, Japanese Print Gallery (Gallery 278A), Avenue of the Arts, 465 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02115

    Black and White:
    Japanese Modern Art

    September 30, 2017 – June 3, 2018

    Museum of Fine Arts, Japanese Print Gallery (Gallery 278A), Avenue of the Arts,
    465 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02115

    Centered around a newly acquired, large-scale calligraphy by Inoue Yūichi (1916–85), this exhibition showcases a selection of avant-garde works in the monochrome aesthetic shared widely in Japan and beyond during the postwar period. This sensibility is rooted in Zen Buddhism, which values simplicity and austerity, and remains influential today. The works in the exhibition are the results of transnational exchanges between Japanese artists like Inoue and their American Expressionist contemporaries, including Franz Kline and Jackson Pollock, who drew inspiration from Asian calligraphy for their gestural paintings. Among the nine works on view are prints, ceramics and sculpture, primarily drawn from the MFA’s collection.

    • 18 Oct 2017
    • 01 Apr 2018
    • Museum of Fine Arts, Ann and Graham Gund Gallery (Gallery LG31), Avenue of the Arts, 465 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02115

    Takashi Murakami:
    Lineage of Eccentrics

    A Collaboration with Nobuo Tsuji and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

    October 18, 2017–April 1, 2018

    Museum of Fine Arts, Ann and Graham Gund Gallery (Gallery LG31), Avenue of the Arts, 465 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02115

    Contemporary works by Takashi Murakami, one of the most imaginative and important artists working today, are juxtaposed with treasures from the MFA’s renowned collection of Japanese art. The exhibition reveals how Murakami’s contemporary vision is richly inflected by a dynamic conversation with the historical past, framed by a creative dialogue with the great Japanese art historian, Professor Nobuo Tsuji. Together, Murakami and Professor Tsuji have chosen the objects on view in the exhibition, including paintings and sculpture created by the artist in direct response to Japanese masterpieces from the MFA’s collection, such as Soga Shōhaku’s 36-foot-long Dragon and Clouds (1763), and the Heiji Scroll (second half of the 13th century)—one of the most famous Japanese works of art outside of Japan.

    • 23 Jan 2018
    • 23 Mar 2018
    • Malden Public Library, 36 Salem St., Malden, MA 02148

    Lasting Impressions of Japan: Hokusai & Hiroshige and Beyond

    January 23 – March 23, 2018

    Exhibition Hours: Mondays 6:00-8:00PM, Wednesdays 2:00-4:00PM, Saturdays 2:00-4:00PM

    Malden Public Library
    36 Salem St., Malden, MA 02148

    This will be the first exhibition of these historic ukiyo-e prints by Hiroshige, Hokusai, Kunisada and Kuniyoshi, purchased by the library in 1912, in over one-hundred years.  The exhibition also includes stunning examples of Japanese traditional dress and ceramic art, including formal, semi-formal, and casual kimono, haori jackets from the collections of the Malden Historical Society. 

    The woodblock ukiyo-e prints show images of everyday Japan and were mass-produced for popular consumption in the Edo period (1615-1868).  Brought to Europe and America, these prints influenced many Western artists, including Monet and Van Gogh; as well as the creators of our popular manga and anime series.  Among the treasured prints exhibited are works by Katsushika Hokusai, best known for his work “Great Wave off the Coast of Kanagawa” or “The Great Wave” from his series Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji.

    The exhibition is a collaboration between the Malden Public Library and the Malden Historical Society.

    For more information or group tours call 781-324-0218.

    • 02 Feb 2018
    • 26 Aug 2018
    • Smith College Museum of Art, 20 Elm St, Northampton, MA 01063

    体 Modern Images of the Body from East Asia

    Smith College Museum of Art
    20 Elm St, Northampton, MA 01063
    February 2 - August 26, 2018

    体 is a character and concept commonly used in East Asian languages (traditional Chinese: 體; Japanese Hiragana: からだ or たい; Korean Hangul: 체). It refers to the material existence of a person, as seen in compound words such as 身体 (human body) and 体格 (physique). In an abstract sense, it also connotes substance, form, and organizing principles, as seen in compound words such as 体系 (system) and 国体 (national polity).

    Using this character as a point of departure, this exhibition looks at the multifaceted representations of the body in East Asia from the nineteenth century to the present. In this period, the region became more enmeshed in the worldwide circulation of things and ideas, and paradoxically, the personal and the collective both found very strong expressions in society. The exhibition explores modern and contemporary portrayals of physical appearances in East Asia, and particularly how these bodily images have come to symbolize identities, reflect socio-political changes, serve as vehicles for artistic expression, and challenge preconceived notions of humankind.

    The art works, ranging widely in media and culture, are mostly drawn from the Smith College Museum of Art’s collection. The exhibition thereby has evolved around but also brings visibility to a significant section of the museum’s holdings, which corresponds to the college’s global and multidisciplinary curriculum. It opens up inquiries into issues including colonial history and Orientalism, global exchange of material and knowledge, rise of nation-states, myths and spectacles, body politics, and biological and technological evolutions.

    Museum Hours
    Tuesday–Saturday 10–4
    Thursday 10–8
    Sunday 12–4
    Second Friday 10–8

    • 02 Mar 2018
    • 30 Sep 2018
    • Boston Children's Museum, 308 Congress Street, Boston, MA 02210

    Japanese House Gallery Exhibit: “HOME”

    Boston Children's Museum
    308 Congress Street, Boston, MA 02210
    Friday, March 2 – Sunday, September 30, 2018

    “HOME” is an exhibit that explores the meaning and influence of home from the perspective of Japanese students. The exhibit will showcase artwork created by the students of the “Art Thinking” project team at Tohoku University of Art & Design (TUAD) in Japan. This is their sixth annual international friendship project bringing their art exhibition and hands-on activity programs to Boston.

    Using the theme home, the artists encourage Museum visitors to explore how home shapes identity, a sense of belonging, and responsibility toward others. This gallery exhibition asks the visitors “What is the definition of home to you?” and “What makes your home special?” In this gallery exhibition, located next to the Museum’s Japanese House exhibit, an authentic 100-year old house from Kyoto, Japan, the artworks share the ideas of today’s multifaceted youth culture of Japan, and demonstrate each individual’s thoughts and narratives.

    Akemi Chayama, the Museum’s Japan Program Manager said, “Creating a space of such experience for our visitors is important to understanding Japan today, especially in a historic house exhibit like the Japanese House which tends to heavily present more traditional cultural elements. The exhibit will expose our visitors to the complexity of how various identities develop within a culture today.”

    The Art Thinking project is part of TUAD’s school curricula and research to create a space for community building through art experience. Artists in this show are students from the Tohoku region of Japan, where many of them witnessed and experienced the loss of homes and hometowns during the earthquake and tsunami of 2011. Through the art, these students search for the meaning of home and welcome Museum visitors to share ideas.

    • 10 Mar 2018
    • 22 Apr 2018
    • Pucker Gallery, 240 Newbury Street, 3rd floor, Boston, MA
    Pucker Gallery
    240 Newbury Street, 3rd Floor, Boston

    March 10 - April 22,  2018

    Hideaki Miyamura was Born in 1955 in Niigata, Japan, and traveled to the United States to study art history at Western Michigan University. After college, he returned to Japan in 1987 to pursue his interest in ceramics as an apprentice with master potter Shurei Miura in Yamanashi. Stemming from his interest in rare ancient Chinese tea bowl glazes, Miyamura seeks to create glazes that have a three-dimensional quality and convey purity and peacefulness. His vessels are pristine, disarmingly simple, contemplative objects whose finishes reflect the panoply of the natural world — geologic phenomena, star-filled nights, undulating ocean waves, and fiery sunsets. His work is included in numerous public collections, including the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Museum of Arts and Design in New York City, and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

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