Japan’s anime industry in crisis even as its popularity soars

Japan's booming animation industry is in crisis -- with low pay, long hours and a huge shortage of artists -- just as its global popularity has never been higher. Three of the 10 feature films in the running for top prize at the world's most important animation festival in Annecy in France -- which ended Saturday -- are from Japan. The country is the only real challenger to Hollywood's dominance of the labour-intensive genre. But just as Japanese anime seemed to be threatening to loosen Pixar and Disney's grip on the popular imagination with the likes of the teen mega hit "Your Name" and a Nintendo Super Mario movie in the pipeline, long-running structural problems are in danger of sapping its rise. With talk of a talent shortage, its greatest star, the legendary Studio Ghibli founder Hayao Miyazaki, has come out of retirement at 78 to make "How Do You Live?" -- which may be released next year -- with speculation that he could take on another feature if his health holds. Miyazaki blaze

Kalakriti Contemporary opens an exhibition of works by Ekta Singha

Kalakriti Contemporary presents ‘A Note on Remembrance’ by Ekta Singha. The crux of Ekta's work is the personal interpretation of layers of experiences woven with the paraphernalia of design motifs, forms and elements derived from miniature paintings. Her interest in Mughal, Persian and Rajput miniature paintings has helped her generate a language of her own. Then its the Visual experiences in a different point of time that she had received consciously and subconsciously that makes its entrance in the pictorial surface that is layered with metaphorical and personal references. Anecdotes and memories of ancestral home and lineage in Bangladesh had played a strong role in her work. Creating patterns remain an integral part of my work and not just as an ornamental design. Rather it becomes an important visual tool to subtly transform experiences – disturbing events and memories through it

Chakshu Patel joins The Studio Museum in Harlem

The Studio Museum in Harlem announced the appointment of Chakshu Patel as its Director of Institutional Advancement. She will take up her position on June 17, working with Director and Chief Curator Thelma Golden and colleagues across the institution to secure the support necessary to realize the Studio Museum’s vital mission. The Studio Museum is currently in the largest campaign in its fifty-year history, for the purpose of funding construction of its new building designed by Adjaye Associates in collaboration with Cooper Robertson, providing an operating reserve, and increasing the endowment. The campaign to date has proceeded strongly, with contributions from public and private donors enabling the Museum to commence the first major phase of the building project. Patel will build on this success, leading the strategic direction, management, leadership and implementation of the Museum’s capital and annual fundraising

Group exhibition celebrates artists whose work explores and engages with gender identity

Hayward Gallery presents Kiss My Genders, a group exhibition celebrating more than 30 international artists whose work explores and engages with gender identity. Spanning the past 50 years, Kiss My Genders brings together over 100 artworks by different generations of artists from around the world. Employing a wide range of approaches, these artists share an interest in articulating and engaging with gender fluidity, as well as with non-binary, trans and intersex identities. While the artists in Kiss My Genders work across a wide variety of media – including installation, video, painting, sculpture and wall drawings – the exhibition places a particular emphasis on works that revisit the tradition of photographic portraiture. A number of artists in the exhibition treat the body itself as sculpture, and in doing so open up new possibilities for gender, beauty and representations of the human form. Participating artis

Diamonds and designers shine in Rago’s June jewelry auctions

Rago's Fine and Unreserved Jewelry Auctions on June 7 & 9 achieved total sales of $1,700,863 across two sessions and 1,134 lots. The honor of top lot was shared by two pieces that each achieved $46,875: lot 1463, a Harry Winston sapphire and diamond platinum ring featuring a 5.11 carat Ceylon sapphire; and lot 1037, a Georgian rose-cut diamond button ring, the central diamond of which once belonged to the last Emperor of Mexico, Maximilian I. Designs featuring substantial diamonds also performed admirably in the sale including: lot 1096, a 4.89 carat diamond Art Deco engagement ring retailed by J. E. Caldwell with its original box which sold for $43,750; lot 1545, an unmounted 5.12 carat square step-cut diamond which achieved $40,625; lot 1546, a 3.59 carat emerald-cut diamond engagement ring, which exceeded the high estimate of $18,000 to sell for $23,750; and lot 1523, a pair of fancy yellow diamond earrings, 3.99 carats tw. thro

A Phillips X Private selling exhibition to showcase American women artists from 1945 to today

Opening June 19 at Phillips New York will be the exhibition NOMEN: American Women Artists from 1945 to Today, which was curated by Arnold Lehman, Phillips’ Senior Advisor and Director Emeritus of the Brooklyn Museum. It is part of Phillips X, the auction house’s private selling platform. The exhibition will include approximately seventy artists spanning the past seventy-five years, including Berenice Abbott, Diana Al-Hadid, Jennifer Bartlett, Lynda Benglis Jenny Holzer, Agnes Martin, Elizabeth Murray, Louise Nevelson, Howardena Pindell, Susan Rothenberg, Betye Saar, Laurie Simmons, Kiki Smith, and Hannah Wilke. Paintings, photographs, and sculpture will offer an overview of the exceptional range and immense talent of these women artists from WWll to the moment the exhibition opens with one work completed specifically for the show. The exhibition runs from June 19 through August 3. Arnold Lehman said, “NOMEN will aim t

Film-maker Jonas Mekas laid to rest in native Lithuania

The ashes of Lithuanian-born American filmmaker Jonas Mekas were buried back in his home country on Sunday, months after his death in New York, public broadcaster LRT reported. In a private ceremony, his ashes were buried next to his parents at a cemetery in Semeniskiai, northeastern Lithuania, where he was born in 1922. Mekas was a key figure of US underground cinema and was widely regarded as the "godfather of avant-garde cinema". After being imprisoned in a labour camp in Germany during World War II, Mekas settled in New York in 1949, where he went on to become a pillar of independent film. "He has always been deeply connected to Lithuania through the memory dimension in his films and his Lithuanian poetry," art critic Lolita Jablonskiene told AFP. At the time of his death at age 96 on January 23, Mekas was still the artistic director of New York's Anthology Film Archives, which he co-founded in 1970.