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Pierre Huyghe: The Artist as Director Ocula Conversation Pierre Huyghe: The Artist as Director

Pierre Huyghe is a producer of spectacular and memorable enigmas, with works that function more like mirages than as objects. Abyssal Plain (2015–ongoing), his contribution to the 2015 Istanbul Biennial, curated by Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, was installed on the seabed of the Marmara Sea, some 20 metres below the surface of the water and close to...

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MoMA Expansion: Once the Modern, Always the Modern Ocula Report MoMA Expansion: Once the Modern, Always the Modern 29 Nov 2019 : Mohammad Salemy for Ocula

In the early decades of its existence, New York's Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), founded in 1929, transformed from a philanthropic project modestly housed in a few rooms of the Heckscher Building on the corner of Fifth Avenue and 57th Street, to an alleged operating node in the United States' cultural struggle during the cold war, and one of the...

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Hans Hartung and Art Informel: Exhibition Walkthrough Ocula Insight | Video
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Hans Hartung and Art Informel: Exhibition Walkthrough 15 October 2019

Hans Hartung and Art Informel at Mazzoleni London (1 October 2019-18 January 2020) presents key works by the French-German painter while highlighting his connection with artists active in Paris during the 50s and 60s. In this video, writer and historian Alan Montgomery discusses Hartung's practice and its legacy.Born in Leipzig in 1904, Hans...

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About Kobe

One of Japan's first ports to open its doors to the West in 1868, the historic city of Kobe remains an important international trading centre, while being home to a number of institutions dedicated to culture and the arts. It is one of the largest cities in Japan and considered a leading force in the nation's fashion industry.

Facing the waterfront, Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art is housed in the concrete building designed by the renowned Japanese architect Ando Tadao. Founded in 2002 as a symbol of 'Cultural Reconstruction'—in response to the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake of 1995 that had gravely affected Kobe—the Museum holds contemporary art exhibitions of many varieties by Japanese and international artists. It also houses the Yamamura Collection, which focuses on Japanese avant-garde of the fifties and sixties— particularly the activities of the Gutai Group—as well as the 'New Wave' artists of the 1980s.

Between 2007 and 2015, five editions of the Kobe Biennale were also held on the waterfront. Its main features included the 'Art in a Container' International Competition, which invites international artists to fit the interior of 40 foot long containers works in various media.

Yokoo Tadanori Museum of Contemporary Art (Y+T MOCA) is within walking distance from the Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art. It is built around the collection of Hyogo-born graphic designer and artist Yokoo Tadanori, and while dedicated to making his work available to the general public, Y+T MOCA also hosts exhibitions featuring other contemporary artists whose works share common ideas with Yokoo's practice.

Rokko Island, a man-made island built in the early 1970s, is the home of Kobe Fashion Museum—the first public museum of fashion in Japan. Amongst its impressive collection are more than 9,000 Western costumes and folk costumes from over 70 countries, ranging from the 18th century to the modern era; 1,500 fashion plates; and a library that offers fashion books and magazines in multiple languages. The Museum building also houses Kobe Artists Museum, which opened in 2007 with the mission to show the works of contemporary artists with affiliations with the city.

For an encounter with more historical art, head over to Kobe City Koiso Memorial Museum of Art—also located on Rokko Island. It is dedicated to the work of Koiso Ryohei, a 20th century Kobe-born artist renowned for his western-style, naturalistic paintings.

Another institution, Kosetsu Museum of Art, established in 1972, reaches back even further in history: centering around the collection of Murayama Ryohei, founder of the Asahi Shimbun newspaper which has been ongoing since 1879. This Museum includes 18 Important Cultural Properties and 27 Important Cultural Assets, as designated by Japan's Agency of Cultural Affairs. Found among these treasures with their esteemed qualities are Buddhist scroll paintings, calligraphy, Momoyama period (1573–1615) tea ware, traditional weaponry, and early modern paintings.

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