HERE MATE I saw this programme on TV the other day and it was about that there TERNER PRIZE and you know what modern art is REALLY STUPID it’s just some guy randomly slinging paint on a canvas and anyone can do it and I COULD EVEN DO IT MATE but I don’t want to cos it’s stupid so there.
Some people actually believe this statement. Luckily, I don’t.
The Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo – or MoT as it is strangely abbreviated – is a pretty amazing building hidden away towards the end of the Honzomon line. I took a trip out there recently to catch the final day of Thomas Demand’s first major Japanese exhibition, and spent a long afternoon wandering around, hiding from the from the sun which is now melting the streets of Tokyo.
Demand is one of the leading figues on the German contemporary art scene (try saying that without stroking your beard.) He specialises in creating intricate scenes out of cardboard, photographing them and then destroying the models. Nothing is left but the picture – and the picture wasn’t even real to begin with. At the risk of sounding even more beard-strokey, it really is living, breathing, conceptual photography.
Watching his short animated film, Pacific Sun, it’s difficult to imagine the effort it must have taken to recreate the interior of the cruise ship caught in turbulent waters between Vanuatu and Auckland. All that effort to shoot a 100-second clip and then destroy the subject matter. Pretty intense.
The grounds of the museum itself are stark and minimal. It’s what you would expect I guess: bare concrete, clean lines. You’re not gonna find any glitz or glamour here. I saw a few beards though.
I saw a headless man leaving the station
The surrounding area is quiet & suburban. Full of high-rises, political posters and laundry shops.
I hopped back on the train…
And visited Sky Tree, the tallest tower in the world.
Before heading home to Shimokita just in time to catch a Barber Shop Quartet…
And some girls who looked like Modern Art in themselves.