Sunday, 30 April 2017

Day 120, 30 Apr 2017: Join the dots...

Day 120: afternoon with Kusama Yayoi

Today, there was plan A. And then there was plan B. Well, not quite so planned actually. I intended to head to Kamakura today, to join the surf club and begin my Kamakura summers, for research purposes, of course. 

Then, I remembered an exhibition that has been on since February which I had every intention of seeing and I recalled it was due to end in May. And with May almost upon us, and the fear of the ensuing self-flagellation should I have missed it, I opted for art. For the love of art.

Brisbane friends will be familiar with Kusama Yayoi's work. She has been exhibited at the Qld Art Gallery and GOMA, some of her work is now part of the the collection. People might recall being mesmerised by her 'Narcissus Garden', the steel mirrored balls afloat in the water gallery; or, you might be familiar with her 'eyes' around the forecourt of the Court Building precinct. 

Wherever you see her work, there is a power that draws you to it. I was keen to see it in a Tokyo context. 

Some of her famous flowers


The large exhibition room, walls lined with her paintings and flowers on the floor

perhaps one hundred or so such painting

You could spend all your time with the flowers

Flowers in the crowd

From another angle

The paintings exploited many styles

and colours

A setting for the Narcissus Garden

All the trees were 'yayoi-ed' too

The Art Gallery 

with greenery and blue sky

The Obliteration Room 'collaboration with Qld Art Gallery'

A rogue sticker

From the outside

A dotty pumpkin

pumpkin skyline

Pumpkin with shadowy self-portrait

The sticker that tried to make it all the way to the subway station

A memento or three

And, because I seem to collect Art Gallery t-shirts, accidentally on purpose

Kusama has just turned 88. She spent several years in the United States from the late 1950s. She came from a well-to-do family, owners of a plant nursery and seed farm (which she attributes to her affinity for pumpkins, along with dots, her signature works). Actually she has many many signature works.

It was my first visit to the the National Art Center here in Tokyo, but I can see I will be back. Brilliant work. Brilliant day.

[Camera : iPhone6S*, 1.33pm-2.52pm, 3.37pm-3.49pm, 6.13pm; 30 April 2017, and so ends April]
*All photography was limited to smart phones only, no other cameras allowed, and only in certain parts of the exhibition. Still, it was quite generous really.

Saturday, 29 April 2017

Day 119, 29 Apr 2017: Buy a bag...

Day 119: ...get some ???? free

Now here's a short quiz for you. Public holiday today, uni is closed, favourite coffee shop is closed. Department store down the road (or, railway line) is open. Catch up time for some needed retail therapy. 

Sounds easy so far doesn't it.

Now, the quiz part: guess what this is...

I purchased a these for free:

petals, mauves and cream

Close up

Folds upon folds

Petals over petals

A little transparent

Together again

And of course, a late afternoon tea.

Green tea cake and ice cream

Now, have you guessed? 
Roses? Yes.
Real? No.
Soap? Yes. Soap. Really.

[Camera : Lumix TZ-85, 9.15pm; iPhone6S, 6.29pm; 29 April 2017]

Day 118, 28 Apr 2017: On the verge of Golden Week...

Day 118: ...which is code for 'holidays'

Classes today, but none next week. There is a series of public holidays starting tomorrow (the Showa Emperor's birthday, still recognised even though he died in 1989) that, if you play your cards right, can mean no work through until Monday week. It is known as 'Golden Week'. It doesn't quite work like that for academics (we do have to attend work Monday and Tuesday) but from Wednesday through to Friday there follows the Constitution Day (3 May), the holiday between 3 May and 5 May (really) and 5 May, Children's Day. 

So that might have explained the fatigue in classes today...perhaps the students were thinking of other things. 

I don't know, but increasingly I feel I'm approaching that time that athletes recognise their last game or race in upon them; whatever it is that teachers hang up these days, some days I feel like I'm almost there. 

On the other hand, given the view, I'm not quite ready to give up just yet. 

An overcast start to the day

But yella keeps on working


Fly by

Duel of another sort

Creating waves

Where X marks the spot

We'll just keep on working. 

In other news, I've completed my first week as a member of a gym. I went four times out of a possible five (I didn't want to overdo it...). I could get used to this. It is an easy way to get over that 10,000 steps per day we all seem to aim for and I reduced the time it took to 'walk' one km from 20 mins to 15 mins and to 'cycle' five km from 23 minutes to just under twenty. I guess I just have to keep on working at it. 

Life, eh. 

[Camera : Lumix TZ-85,  9.51am, 4.01pm-4.20pm; 28 April 2017]

Thursday, 27 April 2017

Day 117, 27 Apr 2017: Maybe it is the petals...

Day 117: ...maybe it is the colours...

...but there is something about azaleas that I always enjoy photographing. They might even be my favourite flower to photograph. 

No wait, my favourite flower to photograph is...

...the one I am photographing. 

The azaleas have come out everywhere in the last couple of days, quite literally. It seems they just need that little boost of rain and the burst of sunshine and suddenly, there they were. 

These ones featured on hedges all the way along the road to the bus stop.


Pink on pink





Different pinks



There are still a few camellias doing their thing too. They were my favourites today too, while I was photographing them. Easy to be fickle when it comes to flowers...they are just meant to is inevitable they feature so regularly in this #project365, reminding us to stop sometimes and smell whatever flower is before your eyes.

[Camera : Lumix TZ-85,  9.28pm-9.33pm, 27 April 2017]

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Day 116, 26 Apr 2017: It might have looked grey...

Day 116: ...but it had some charm

One reason I've always liked being by the water is to watch the way the colour of the water can change depending on the colour of the sky above: all shades of blue, all shades of grey and occasionally a greenish tinge or a silver sparkle (speaking of which, we must be due another of those soon...). 

Today it wasn't just the grey in the water, but the clouds too put on a bit of a show today in between class preparation and writing. 

It was the clouds at first...

Rippling clouds

Then the water

The clouds kept moving

And rearranging shapes and textures

Banks of clouds

At the end of the day

The wheel is in just to add a bit of colour contrast but far from setting a sombre mood, the greys just lift the spirit a bit when the environment is one show like this. 

Day two at the gym today, with the trainer on hand to demonstrate some new torture exercise machines. We'll see what tomorrow brings on the muscle front. And perhaps, in the sky and on the water. 

[Camera : Lumix TZ-85, 2.29pm, 2.50pm, 3.48pm-3.49pm, 5.06pm, 5.33pm; 26 April 2017]