I spent my first day in Japan kind of remembering what it is like to be me. That sounds kinda lame, but sometimes you lose bits of your soul living in a place like Canberra. Work and life swallows everything up, and it's not that I'm sad but I guess I forget what it is like to be happy and exciting and in a city! Osaka rebalanced me in less than 12 hours. It brought a smile to my heart - friendly people, open minds, no pretense. The whole city is too cool for school without even knowing it.
The National Museum of Art Osaka was the perfect starting point for me, because nothing smacks of an indulgent day than time spent in rooms with very high ceilings and interesting art to think about.
Now before I talk about the exhibition, please indulge me in a guerilla girls moment. Some of you can roll your eyes at the concept of history/herstory, but really - how many women artists do you know? I know a stack because I spent a few years at art school, but generally women artists are ignored by art historians and galleries, until recent times anyway. And no, it wasn't that there were no good ones - it was because nobody bothered to write about them.
So you can imagine how awesome it was to find that the National Museum of Art in Osaka was featuring the ladies in their permanent collection. One of my favourite Sophie Calle pieces was on display, as were some amazing Susan Rothenberg pieces, and our very own Emily Kame Kngwarreye works were featured ( the Japanese love her - the last time I was here there was a massive touring exhibition of her paintings).
The other exhibition at the gallery was Eternity of Eternal Eternity by Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama. I'd never heard of Yayoi Kusama but she seems to be a national treasure and has been creating art for over 70 years and is still working. She likes dots and so do I and her exhibition was full of colour and lines and patterns - some parts reminded me of Barbara Hanrahan, actually her paintings were a lot like Barbara Hanrahan. Her sculptures not like anyones anything, but take a look for yourself.