Arts and Culture

Japan’s blind piano maestro plays it by ear

by Ursula Hyzy Agence France Presse TOKYO, Japan (AFP) — Blind since birth, virtuoso Japanese pianist Nobuyuki Tsujii puts his global success down to a wide range of experiences outside music — and listening to how the conductor breathes. “I love sport, I love swimming, skiing,” the 29-year-old maestro told AFP in an interview. “The more I experience, the more positive things it brings me as a musician.” Despite his blindness, Tsujii — or “Nobu” […]

Da Vinci’s last work in private hands arrives in Asia for first time

HONG KONG, China (Reuters) — The last privately-owned painting, Salvator Mundi, by Leonardo da Vinci was unveiled in Hong Kong on Friday (October 13). The Leonardo Da Vinci work, one of fewer than 20 paintings accepted from the artist’s own hands, is expected to fetch $100 million when it hits the auction block at Christie’s in New York on November 15. Christie’s Head of Old Master Painting, Francois de Poortere, said the painting, sometimes called […]

Destroyed artifacts ‘cloned’ for Tokyo exhibition

TOKYO, Japan (Reuters) — Ancient art and monuments could be given a new lease of life thanks to ‘cloning’ technology used by Japan’s Foundation for Cultural Heritage and Research. Cultural artefacts damaged or destroyed by war and natural disaster have been reproduced in minute detail and put on display at the Tokyo University of the Arts museum. The process goes beyond just reproduction. The team behind what they call the ‘cloned cultural properties’ use patented […]

A changing China on view in New York art show

by Thomas Urbain © Agence France-Presse NEW YORK, United States (AFP) — A generation of artists deeply marked by the Tiananmen Square massacre, globalization and the liberalization of China’s economy is at the heart of a new exhibition at New York’s Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. The period bookended by Tiananmen (1989) and the 2008 Beijing Olympics witnessed what the museum’s senior curator for Asian art Alexandra Munroe called “the greatest transformations in the lives of 1.3 billion […]

Lego House, designed to look like 21 giant versions of its bricks, is inaugurated

BILLUND, Denmark (Reuters) — Danish toymaker Lego has inaugurated a play house in its home town designed to look like 21 giant versions of its bricks stacked on top of each other. Crown Princess Mary and Crown Prince Frederik attended the opening ceremony at the house, near the company’s headquarters in Billund, with their four children. The 12,000-square-meter (130,000 square feet) building, designed by Danish architect Bjarke Ingels, will include three restaurants, a Lego store, […]

British artist Sacha Jafri launches world tour of retrospective

LONDON, United Kingdom (Reuters) — British artist Sacha Jafri launched a four-year world tour of his retrospective ‘Universal Consciousness’ in London on Wednesday (September 27). The artist aims to raise £10m ($13.44 million) from the sale of his auctions over the duration of this tour. Jafri said he wants to raise money for children’s charity, “specifically for refugees.” The tour will stop at Los Angeles, New York, Moscow, Hong Kong, Sydney, Abu Dhabi, Beijing and […]

Christie’s holds autumn auction in Shanghai

SHANGHAI, China (Reuters) — Christie’s Shanghai auction season got underway on Sunday (September 24), with 35 offerings from the contemporary art world going under the hammer. Zao Wou-ki’s 24-12-2002-Diptyqe was sold for $5.09 million, which reached the highest bidding price for a single collection by Christie’s in mainland China. Collections from Marc Chagall, Salvador Dali and Andy Warhol were also up for bidding. Pablo Picasso’s Tete d’homme was sold for $200,000. Andy Warhol’s Monkey was […]

Tsunami-sunk’ Roman ruins discovered in Tunisia

NABEUL, Tunisia (AFP) — Vast underwater Roman ruins have been discovered off northeast Tunisia, apparently confirming a theory that the city of Neapolis was partly submerged by a tsunami in the 4th century AD. “It’s a major discovery,” Mounir Fantar, the head of a Tunisian-Italian archaeological mission which made the find off the coast of Nabeul, told AFP. He said an underwater expedition had found streets, monuments and around 100 tanks used to produce garum, […]

Infinity Room Exhibition coming to Los Angeles this October

By Jaina Pallasigui (EBC Las Vegas Bureau) Eagle News Service LAS VEGAS, USA  (Eagle News) — Yayoi Kusama is known for her artistic vision of perspective.  Even people who have never heard of Kusama have been drawn to her immersive artwork that seems to defy the boundaries of light and space.   Kusama’s Infinity Mirrors exhibition has been touring the country, leaving a huge impression at each stop.  Commencing at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture […]

Big Ben: A British icon in facts and figures

LONDON, United Kingdom (AFP) — A cherished British icon, Big Ben, is falling silent from Monday for repairs expected to last four years. Here are some facts and figures for Big Ben and the other bells of the Houses of Parliament in the world’s most photographed clock tower. Name Many simply refer to the entire tower as Big Ben. But its proper name is the Elizabeth Tower, the clock is the Great Clock and Big […]

Newborn babies in Cairo learn how to swim

CAIRO, Egypt (Reuters) — Egyptian parents are taking their new-born babies for a swim in novel classes being held in the capital, helping to promote physical education for babies while teaching parents how to handle their children in water. Held by instructor Mohamed Abdelmaksoud, the classes began in July after he received his certificate in Russia in 2014 and returned to Cairo to continue his career in his home country. A video he posted on […]

Big Ben to fall silent on Aug 21 until 2021 for restoration

LONDON, United Kingdom (CCTV) — London’s iconic bell Big Ben will fall silent after chiming noon on August 21 until 2021 for restoration work. After bonging every hour for most of the last 157 years, the Great Bell’s world famous strikes and the chimes of the quarter bell will be paused for four years to ensure the safety of those working in the Elizabeth Tower, which houses the bell at the north end of the […]