* Takuma Nakahira "Circulation: Date, Place Events" @ BLD Gallery / 2-4-9 Ginza, Chuo Ward Tokyo (JR Yurakucho Station, Marunouchi Line to Ginza Station). Nakahira's series from the 7th Paris Biennale in 1971, where he represented Japan, are restaged here for the first time, reflecting his youthful vivacity along the lines of peer and modernist photographer Daido Moriyama.
* New York Asian Film Festival 2012 @ Walter Reade Theatre / Lincoln Center at 65th St (1 to 66th St). NYAFF is the baddest-ass of NY film festivals without question. Seasoned LIST-readers know you better be holding tickets for the hotter shows (as these babies tend to sell out majorly), so I'll eschew regurgitating my yearly rules and tips and just include a rundown of films I think you should see. Just look for the NYAFF 2012 tag.
* NYAFF 2012: "All About My Wife" (dir. Min Kyu-dong, 2012) at 9p. Brian's gone soft? Yeah yeah, but look: Korea knows its rom-coms. Plus, adding cutie Im Su-jeong into the mix, like a well-timed spark for her kindling beaus, just makes it that much more effective. Trust me on this one.
* "Hara-Kiri" (dir. Takashi Miike, 2011) screening @ BAM Cinemas / 30 Lafayette St, Ft Greene (23/45 to Nevins St, C to Lafayette St), 7p. Oh snap! BAMcinématek totally tried to slip this one by. We're in the midst of NYAFF's double-barreled cinematic awesomeness when, out in Fort Greene, comes Takashi Miike's scintillating, sumptuous seppuku epic, in stunning 3D! It's a not-so-sneak preview, too (opens in theaters JUL 20), but if you just can't wait, hell, go out there and bask.
* Katsumi Hayakawa "PHASE III" @ Gallery MOMO / 2F 6-2-6 Roppongi, Minato-ku (Hibiya/Toei Oedo Lines to Roppongi Station). Intricate, gridlike paper structures emulating mathematical formulas, superconductor circuits, futuristic city-plans straight outta "Neuromancer" and a whole helluva lotto other cool stuff.
* the milky tangerine @ Shimokitazawa SHELTER / B1 2-6-10 Kitazawa, Setagaya-ku (Keio Inokashira Line to Shimokitazawa Station), 7p/2500 yen. Super-cute local garage-rockers the milky tangerine do it '90s style: think screeching guitars tempered by smooth vocals. w/ GUMI
* NYAFF 2012: "Infernal Affairs 1 & 2" (dirs. Andrew Lau & Alan Mak, 2002/2003) at 6/8:40p. Maybe you recall last week when I was raging at how America bones up proper Asian crime dramas w/ its paltry remakes? Hong Kong box-office juggernaut "Infernal Affairs" was one of my main examples. So what's better than seeing the original good cop-as-gangster vs. gangster-as-good-cop thriller on the big screen? Seeing it then immediately seeing its explosive sequel! w/ heartthrob Edison Chen and Will Yun Lee in attendance
* "Tron" (dir. Steven Lisberger, 1982) screening @ Alamo Drafthouse Ritz / 320 E Sixth St, 7/10:30p. The Drafthouse's "Summer of 1982" goes cybernetic, with this once-belittled, now-hallowed if tremendously dated geek classic. For any nerds out there (self included!) who took apart their family's big-box computer and stared at that motherboard, pretending it was the glittering green map to some futuristic bit-city, you're in luck. ALSO SAT-SUN 1:15/4p
* Yuki Tawada "Burnt Photographs" @ Taro Nasu Gallery / 1-2-11 Higashi-kanda, Chiyoda-ku (Sobu Line to Bakurocho Station). The Shizuoka-born artist returns to the gallery with a truly transformative solo exhibition. She burns inkjet prints and paints them in acrylic, creating a new image phoenix-like from the gnarly, ashen remains of its previous state. Much emotional involvement and sense of place occurs here.
* Kozo Fukuoka "Somewhere in England" @ Gallery TOSEI / 5-18-20 Chuo, Nagano-ku (Tokyo Metro Marunouchi Line to Shin-Nakao Station, Exit 1-2). A love of the Beatles and Brit-rock carried the photographer on a tour of northern England and beyond, turning to the rural landscape for inspiration.
* "Document Haino Keiji" (dir. Kazuhiro Shirao, 2012) @ Theater N Shibuya / 2F 24-4 Sakuragaoka-cho, Shibuya-ku (JR etc to Shibuya Station, West Exit). HELL YEAH. The definitive doc on the silver-coiffed, sexagenarian multi-instrumentalist and noise lord Keiji Haino, troubadour to avant-guardians the world over.
* NYAFF 2012: "The Miami Connection" (dirs. Grandmaster Y.K. Kim and Park Woo-sung, 1987) at 11:15p. Maybe you recall the batshit midnight mayhem caused by "L.A. Streetfighters" at NYAFF 2010. Get ready for a redo, only this time there's Benetton-style New Wave rockers and tons of ninja. Luckily the former's terrible (and terribly quotable) dialogue holds up. You'll definitely not want to miss this one, sucka.
* Warm Up 2012: Todd Terry, Light Asylum, Nguzunuguzu @ MoMA PS1 / 22-25 Jackson Ave, Long Island City (E/M to 23rd St/Ely Ave), 2p/$15 (FREE for members). This year's delirious summer art-concert series Warm Up opens with proper Chicago-tinged four-on-the-floor, courtesy legendary DJ/producer Todd Terry. Preceding him are sun-sweetened bass lovers Nguzunguzu and local disco darlings Light Asylum, so be sure to hydrate before this nonstop dance-athon. Be sure to spend ample time in Wendy, the super-sized blue sea urchin-looking creation of architects Marc Kushner and Matthias Hollwich, a monolith of misty bliss and air-cleaning titanium nanoparticles. Of note: PS1 instigated advanced tickets for 2012 Warm Up, and considering the red-hot lineup you may want to reserve early.
* oOoOO (San Fran) @ Beauty Ballroom / 2015 E Riverside Dr, 9p/$13. What's up with these "witch house" dudes (and girls) and their ridiculous names? oOoOO (pronounced "oh") ain't the only one, neither: local musician Stefanie Franciotti goes by Sleep ∞ Over ("sleepover forever"?). Though this doesn't detract from oOoOO's darkly glamourous, electro jams. Get down now. w/ Beat Imprint
* Yutokutaishi Akiyama @ Aisho Miura Arts / B1F 2-17-3 Shibuya, Shibuya-ku (JR etc to Shibuya Station). The performance artist, who gained nationwide fame in the '70s by running in the Tokyo gubernatorial election under "politics to be pop art", unveils a new performance work plus Buriki sculpture.
* Keiichi Tanaami @ Nanzuka Underground B1F 2-17-3 Shibuya, Shibuya-ku (JR etc to Shibuya Station). Tanaami is one of Japan's strongest answers to classic Pop art — think more the acid-toned Chicago school than NYC — which he's been producing since the '60s. This exhibition traces his creative and subversive illustrated history, plus includes a new digital animation.
* Jiro Takamatsu "These Seven Characters" @ Yumiko Chiba Associates / 2F 4-32-6 Nishi-shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku (Toei Oedo Line to Tochomae Station, JR etc to Shinjuku Station, West Exit). The followup to the gallery's focus on the pivotal neo-Dadaist and forerunner of "Mono-Ha", the youth-driven antimodernist movement of the late '60s that includes Lee Ufan and Nobuo Sekine. An emphasis on Takamatsu's copying and reproductions, born out of "these seven characters".
* Who the Bitch + つしまみれ @ Shibuya O-Crest / 5F 2-14-8 Dogenzaka, Shibuya-ku (JR etc to Shibuya Station, Hachiko Exit), 7p/3300 yen. Trust me, you don't want to miss a "Who the Fuck" night, the titular showcase for Who the Bitch, two fierce riot-grrrls and their Guitar Wolf-looking dude drummer. Even better, the ladies behind つしまみれ join the party. Expect one rippin' night.
* NYAFF 2012: "Kill Zone" (dir. Wilson Yip, 2005) at 5:15p. Yip channels this return to form for Hong Kong action cinema, feat. a Who's Who of greats (Simon Yam as driven inspector with a dirty secret, Donnie Yen as a badass detective, Sammo Hung as a severe kingpin and Wu Jing his raging enforcer). Oh but brace yourselves, boys and girls: Donnie "Ip Man" Yen is attending the screening!
* NYAFF 2012: "Honey Pupu" (dir. Chen Hung-I, 2011) at 10:30p. I'm calling "Honey Pupu"—a beautiful, mesmerizing melange of youthful social media and love on both sides of reality—the sleeper hit of NYAFF 2012. Sure it's not jaw-bruising action nor outrageously sexual nor shockingly bloody, my usual watermarks for awesome NYAFF films, but its dreamy cyber-heart beats true.
* NYAFF 2012: "Dragon" (dir. Peter Chan, 2011) at 7:45p. Better known as simply "Wu Xia", one solid slugfest between arts of the martial (that'd be Donnie Yen) and the scientific (Takeshi Kaneshiro) variety. Better yet, Tang Wei (HELLO) plays Yen's wife. Better still: Donnie Yen is attending the screening. Guaranteed to sell out by the time you read this.
* PLASTIC GIRL IN CLOSET @ Shimokitazawa SHELTER / B1 2-6-10 Kitazawa, Setagaya-ku (Keio Inokashira Line to Shimokitazawa Station), 7p/2500 yen. My favorite Iwate-area dream-popstars PGIC are just bursting with twee joy, tempered by waves and waves of snarling guitar feedback — these kids are LOUD live! They play tonight's "strange ROCK SHOW" w/ Violent is Savanna.
* "Greatest Hits" @ Tiny Park / 1101 Navasota St. Tiny Park achieved some very big things in their first year as an apartment gallery, curating three thoughtful two-artist shows feat. such talent as local heroes Miguel Aragon (winner of Austin Critics' Table Outstanding Artist, who also had a major solo exhibition at Austin's Mexic-Arte Museum) and Leah Haney (solo museum exhibition at AMOA-Arthouse this past spring), plus Chicago's Deborah Stratman (2004 Whitney Biennial) and LA-based painter and printmaker Nick Brown — plus a laudable drawing annual. Now they've relocated to a high-ceilinged commercial gallery space, filling it with some of the best-of from their past exhibitions. The reconfiguring works to Tiny Park's advantage, as it's less of a "been there, seen that" than a very concrete adjustment of scale and space. Brown's massive canvases and Aragon's large-scale media aren't so squeezed for room here, though they retain their respective impacts. It's a solid group show. This fall, Tiny Park must throw caution to the wind, using the potential for experimentation to go full-bore and, trusting their instincts, leave an even deeper impression on the local gallery scene. Consider me super stoked for what is to come.
* "Manscape: Male as Subject and Object", curated by Christopher Eamon @ Lora Reynolds Gallery / 360 Nueces. There is a disclaimer on the gallery door noting that this group show "may not be suitable to all viewers". Sounds like my kind of show! But seriously, Eamon pulls off a thoughtful dissection of traditional male imagery and hierarchy in art via three young and compelling female artists (Mariah Robertson, Michele Abeles, and Adina Popescu) and tempered by a less-known male some 25 years their senior (John Massey). Photography is the focal point here: Robertson's two-pronged visual assertion of lone phalluses infringing onto optical illusion backdrops and Abeles' stealthy still-lifes (in one, she makes a compelling critical portrait of blue-drenched objectifier Yves Klein). Popescu gives her male subject a face (in her video "Jeremiah", screened earlier this year in "Blind Cut" at Marlborough Chelsea in NYC), but his voice is really her own words, a dialogue on consumption. Massey is not simply counterbalance here as the sole male artist and older figure. I wonder what the exhibition would be like without him. His contribution, a sensitive gaze into his own head and thoughts via his "Studio Projections" photographs (involving a maquette of Massey's studio and projections of images rephotographed from newspapers in the '70s), gives a vulnerability to this male artist via the admitted failures of depicted male-headed modernist activities. Back to the women: are they striving for the same sort of utopian goals in their respective truncations and takedowns of male imagery? I think when you take these works into the greater contexts of their respective oeuvres—like Robertson's darkroom experimentation and Abeles' continually groundbreaking compositional techniques—then the answer is not so clear. At the very least, I do not see these artists' progresses "destined for failure" like Massey's mining of decades' old modernism.
* "Fake Empire" @ Mixed Greens / 531 W 26th St. Lee Stoetzel curated and is participating in this five-artist examination and hyperbolization of historical sites and monuments. Feat. Olivo Barbieri, Rob Carter, Susan Giles, and Dionisio Gonzalez in a cross-media presentation. (ENDS FRI)
* Hisaharu Motoda @ Kido Press, Inc / 6F 1-3-2 Kiyosumi, Koto-ku (Hanzomon/Toei Oedo Lines to Kiyosumi-shirakawa Station). Disused sports stadiums take on the emotive light of crumbling architectural relics thanks to Motoda's compelling duotone printwork.
* Jon Pylypchuk @ Tomio Koyama Gallery / 7F 1-3-2 Kiyosumi, Koto-ku (Hanzomon/Oedo Lines to Kiyosumi-Shirakawa Station). The Canadian artist's debut solo at the gallery, featuring his half-human, half-animal lifeforms moving through dreamlike landscapes, rendered in paint and mixed media. (ENDS SAT)