Category Archives: Asia

Ok, screw sports, it’s all about food.

The World Cup, dynamic conflicting patterns painted by colored jerseys on a green background, a guttural whoop as goals are almost scored, curatorial statements about the meaning of a team, a win, a failure. A great reason to drink more beer. But South Africa, South Korea and Ghana are out at the hands of spoiler Uruguay, who you should have pulled for because they were the final underdog who ruined the chances of the other underdogs worth pulling for … and now they are out too. The US, Japan, Cameroon, Brazil and Cote’ d’Ivoire are out as well, and now it’s Holland v Spain, denying us — without Germany — a clash of the Northern Europeans. So screw sports, let’s talk food (Let’s go Orangemen!). From here on, it’s Contemporary Chow in Japan.

Last month I was invited by San Pelligrino to check out two restaurants with the most inventive, internationally respected chefs working in Japan today. It was a rough assignment, grueling back-to-back tasting sessions at Chef Seiji Yamamoto’s Ryugin in Roppongi, ranked 48th on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list that San Pelligrino compiles in collaboration with Restaurant Magazine from the UK; and Chef Yoshihiro Narisawa’s Les Creation de Narisawa, number 24 on the list. We’re going to have plenty of photos here of tasty food, so if you want to see any kind of explanation for what yr looking at, let’s take this conversation to another page.

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Looking for “a certain smell of ‘edge’ “

Mori art Museum director Fumio Nanjo presents a nice overview of the Asian art scene in The Korean Times, put together from a lecture at the Gyeonggi Creation Center.

Choice quotes:

* “The museum boom in Japan was actually in the 1970s through the 1990s,” said Nanjo, the director of Mori Art Museum, but the art market has become increasingly stagnant since the late 1980s.

* “If you go to an art fair in Asia, there will be a Taiwanese buyer of Indonesian art, and an Indonesian buying Thai art. Korean galleries are showing Japanese artists and Hong Kong showing Chinese.”

* “It used to be an age of museums, but that’s over now and it’s the age of collectors.”

Read the whole story here.