To celebrate the 30th anniversary of its opening, Hiratsuka Museum of Art is holding a large-scale exhibition of paintings by Akiko Endo.
A winner of multiple awards, Akiko Endo paints large-scale canvases that reward viewing from any distance. Close up, they are packed with detail, with so many people and animals doing so many different things. From further away, we can enjoy the vibrant colours and the dizzying perspective, often reminding me of M. C. Escher's impossible cities.
The paintings really are huge: often five or six meters on a side, sometimes more. Many of them portray a whole world; we can see people inside the buildings, sitting on steps, looking through windows, riding cute little trains. There are also some set in nature, with giant spiders and octopuses, or a forest of cherry-blossoms inhabited by tigers, elephants and more other creatures than you can count.
The museum is about fifteen minutes' walk from the north exit of Hiratsuka station on the JR Tokaido line, or can be reached by bus from the station. It's open daily except Monday from 9:30am to 5:30pm.
Admission to the Akiko Endo exhibition costs JPY800, with discounts for high school students and most senior citizens, and free entrance for younger students, disabled visitors, and residents of Hiratsuka aged 65 or older. The ticket also allows you to see an exhibition of paintings from the museum collection; my advice is to see that one first, Akiko Endo second.
I came to Japan from Manchester, England in 2003, and have travelled a lot since then, around Japan and in Asia. When I'm not working, I write satire and perform stand-up comedy in and around Tokyo. Check YouTube for a taste.