Exhibits

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

    • 31 Mar 2018
    • 30 Dec 2018
    • Peabody Essex Museum, East India Square, 161 Essex Street, Salem, MA 01970

    Japanomania! Japanese Art Goes Global

    March 31, 2018 – December 30, 2018

    Peabody Essex Museum

    East India Square, 161 Essex Street, Salem, MA 01970

    Discover the beauty and complex stories behind PEM’s celebrated Japanese export art collection. The new installation takes visitors on a journey through time — from the arrival of Portuguese merchants in the 1500s through Japan’s emergence on the world stage in the late 19th century and beyond. Throughout, the story is punctuated with stunning works of art, including extraordinary loans from a private collection and many objects on view for the first time since PEM’s 2016 exhibition Asia in Amsterdam.

    Japanomania! Japanese Art Goes Global is made possible by the generous support of an anonymous donor, the late Mrs. Lammot du Pont Copeland and The Lee and Juliet Folger Fund.

    Image credit: Sanrio Company, Ltd., Hello Kitty rotary telephone, 1980s. Plastic, metal and electrical components. Museum purchase. 2018.4.1. Artists in Arita, Japan, Incense holder, about 1690. Porcelain and lacquered silver. Gift of the estate of Mrs. Lammot du Pont Copeland, 2001. AE85878.A. Photo by Kathy Tarantola/PEM.

    • 02 Jun 2018
    • 28 Oct 2018
    • Fuller Craft Museum, 455 Oak Street, Brockton, MA 02301

    White Donabe Pot Photo Credit Joanne Rathe Strohmeyer

    Objects of Use and Beauty: Design and Craft in Japanese Culinary Tools

    Fuller Craft Museum
    455 Oak Street, Brockton, MA 02301

    June 2, 2018 - October 28, 2018

    Museum Hours:
    Tuesday – Sunday 10:00 am – 5:00 pm, Thursday 5:00 – 9:00 pm

    Reception and Lecture June 3, 2018, 2:00 – 5:00 pm

    Japanese tools for the kitchen are admired as objects of beauty. They are also practical, functioning utensils for the preparation of food. Dedicated craftspeople design and produce them in materials ranging from metal and wood to stone, bamboo, reeds, grasses, ceramic, silicone, fiberglass, and plastic. These tools reflect their makers’ art, as well as the functions each object serves: producing and serving foods desired for their taste and beauty around the world. In Japan, food is a multisensory experience: me de taberu or “eat with your eyes,” as the saying goes. Aesthetic pleasure, too, applies to the tools that produce it. This “beauty in use”—yō no bi—inspires Objects of Use and Beauty: Design and Craft in Japanese Culinary Tools.

    This exhibition at Fuller Craft Museum gathers items diverse in design and function, organized around their uses in professional and domestic kitchens. The aim is to celebrate the artistry of these works; to inspire curiosity; and, for those unfamiliar, to provide points of connection with these versatile wares. For what chef—Japanese or otherwise—could not enjoy the feel of a perfectly weighted knife, the warmth of a wood rice paddle, the glint of light off a hammered pot, and the textures and tastes of foods cut, sieved, grated, or simmered with such utensils?

    Objects of Use and Beauty: Design and Craft in Japanese Culinary Tools will demonstrate the beauty of design and use in Japanese cooking and reveal the artistry of craftsmanship in such tools as knives, whisks, ceramic, and other important items. Videos of craftspeople at work will be included, as well as the tools themselves and narratives of their use. In addition, there will be there will be a look into a contemporary home kitchen and culinary demonstration videos. The exhibition is complemented by an exquisite exhibition catalogue of the same title.

    About the Curators:
    Debra Samuels and Merry White have each spent several decades of their lives living in or visiting Japan. Debra Samuels has been visiting Japan since 1972 and each time absorbs more of local culinary culture, practice, and pleasures. She has collected her experiences and recipes in her cookbook, My Japanese Table, published by Tuttle Press in 2011, helping many outside Japan to enjoy the simple and surprisingly accessible foods that reflect her relationships and experiences of Japanese culinary culture. The people with whom she cooked have become her family over these years of learning and eating. Now she teaches about Japanese food and culture in Europe and America. Debra is lead curriculum developer in a new project called Wa-Shokuiku, a seven-week, hands-on course for elementary through middle school, focusing on Japanese cuisine, culture, and nutrition.

    Merry White has been visiting Japan since 1963, when, as a young student, she fell in love with Japanese food and began her collection of objects related to food. After some years as a caterer and cookbook writer, she began graduate work in Japanese studies at Harvard University and is now professor of anthropology at Boston University, specializing in Japan and food. She has received an Imperial Honor, The Order of the Rising Sun, from the Japanese government. She has written several books on Japanese families, women, and Japanese education, and her most recent book, Coffee Life in Japan, chronicles Japan’s two centuries of obsession with coffee and its cafes, revealing some of the stories of craft also heard in Japan’s food culture. Her current research is on Japanese food workers—artisanal, domestic and industrial.


    Sponsored by the Caroline R. Graboys Fund, the Japan World Exposition 1970 Commemorative Fund, and The Japan Foundation, New York.


    White Donabe Pot   Photo Credit: Joanne Rathe Strohmeyer

    • 11 Aug 2018
    • 31 Oct 2018
    • The Emerald Necklace, Boston, MA 02130

    Fog x FLO: Fujiko Nakaya on the Emerald Necklace

    Saturday, August 11 - Wednesday, October 31, 2018

    The Emerald Necklace, Boston, MA 02130

    The Conservancy welcomes to Boston and Brookline Fujiko Nakaya’s first extended citywide exhibition of multiple “fog sculptures,” marking her five decade career with works at five sites along the historic urban parks that link more than a dozen neighborhoods, and provide a natural, recreational and cultural conduit for the community. Created in response to the landmarked waterways and landscapes designed by Frederick Law Olmsted (FLO), Nakaya’s “climate responsive” shape-shifting, pure water forms invite visitors to immerse themselves in the art, experience nature anew, and appreciate the vital role of the Emerald Necklace in the city’s history, present, and future.

    Organized by the Conservancy with curator Jen Mergel, this free public art presentation is on view every day, hourly from dawn to dusk, from August 11 through October 31 at these locations

    Nakaya calls fog  “the most generous medium” and has collaborated for decades with artists, musicians, designers and more to transform her fog sculptures to “fog performances.”

    Visitors to the Shattuck Visitor Center (on the Back Bay Fens at 125 The Fenway, near the Museum of Fine Arts Boston and Northeastern University) will be able to learn more about Fog x FLO, Nakaya, Olmsted, and the history of the Emerald Necklace, the Conservancy, and more.

    Organizers and Sponsors

    Fog x FLO: Fujiko Nakaya on the Emerald Necklace and other 20th Anniversary programs are organized by the Emerald Necklace Conservancy in partnership with the City of Boston, Town of Brookline Parks and Open Space Division, MA Department of Conservation and Recreation and the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University. Presentation is made possible with the generous support of Barbara and Amos Hostetter, High Meadows Foundation, Fotene Demoulas and Tom Coté, The Boston Foundation, Tom and Lisa Blumenthal, Brooke and John Cook, Plimpton Shattuck Fund, Kate and Ben Taylor, The Japan Foundation, Kohlberg Greer Fund, Eugene M. Lang Foundation, Dr. Barbara Millen and Family, Fish Family Fund, Samuels & Associates and an anonymous donor. Media sponsors: Boston magazine, The Boston Globe.

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