Japanimania

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“Untitled” (2002) by Yoshitomo Nara

Two of the four exhibits opening at the Institute of Contemporary Art Jan. 24 involve things Japanese. Both of them combine ideas from East and West in interesting ways.

The works of Japanese artist Yoshitomo Nara take their cues from both Japanese anime and Western Pop Art. His simultaneously cute and menacing images of children and his soothing animal pictures, cult favorites in Japan, receive their first major American display in “Nothing Ever Happens,” which runs through April 4.

The ICA’s commissioned ramp installation, “Naming Tokyo (Part III),” is New York artist Aleksandra Mir’s attempt to make the Japanese megalopolis more user-friendly to the Western visitor by naming the city’s often confusing streets and neighborhoods.

Opening along with these is the first museum survey of the paintings of Philadelphia artist Sarah McEneaney and a demonstration of the SmartWrap building technology developed by local architects KieranTimberlake Associates.

— S.S.

square.gif“NOTHING EVER HAPPENS”/“NAMING TOKYO (PART III)”: Jan. 24 through April 4 at the Institute of Contemporary Art, 118 S. 36th St. Gallery hours: Noon to 8 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Admission $3, students over 12/artists/seniors $2, ICA members/PennCard holders/all visitors before 1 p.m. Sundays free.

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Originally published on January 15, 2004