Friday, September 3, 2010

A Japanese Day

The weather cooled down for a day, so I was off for a Japanese themed day. New exhibits opened at the Pera Museum as part of the 2010 year of cultural exchange between Japan and Turkey. My first stop was at the Japanese Cultural Center to see what diversions they offered. The center is a small office, and language lessons the only offer. To study ikebana or oragami, you need to go to Japan... There is a nearby Japanese cafe, which looked to be a good lunch idea. I took no pictures of the center, but did take a couple of the church across the street, which had a prretty stained glass window. No signage in Turkish or English gave away the name or type of church.
At the Pera Museum, there was as exhibit by the Japanese artist Ikuo Hirayama, who passed away this past December at the age of 79. He was an accomplished Nihonga painter, painting in the old style, where natural color pigments were mixed with glue and applied to paper. This contrasts to the western world mixing the color pigments with oils, resulting in the oil painting standard. Hirayama's painting surfaces have a granular look when you get up close. This exhibit featured paintings inspired by his over 100 trips to locations along the Silk Road. The one shown below is of the Cappadocia area in Turkey. Hirayama's interest inthe Silk Road stems from his interest in the path Buddism took to arrive in Japan.

Hirayama also painted in water colors, with several of Turish people and locations in the exhibit. A painting of the Blue Mosque was reproduced on a elevator door of the museum

On two other floors of the museum, Japanese inventions as well as animation, manga and gaming classics. A film festival will run for the next month or so at the Pera Museum featuring animated movies. They will show two features, Spirited Away and Tokyo Godfathers, which I have already seen. For the others, I will keep note of the titles, as all will be shown in Japanese with Turkish subtitles.

After my museum visit, my intent was to head back to the Japanese cafe, but a new restaurant, SaladStation, pulled me in. Their logo looks similar to the one for the London Underground, so I do believe there may be a western connection to this franchise. You choose your salad base (mine arugula) and then choose your base toppings (5 included) and any additional toppings (went for the hard to find blue cheese) and a dressing - here I chose the wasabi dressing, to keep with my Japanese dressing.

The green kerchiefed salad chefs mix it up for you. Very fresh and tasty. Return visits will be made.

I had a great day touring in spite of the fact I left my compact Totes umbrella on the return ferry... I was too absorbed in the new issue of Time Out Istanbul to notice my mistake.
Have a good day!

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