Japanese tycoon loans Basquiat masterpiece to Brooklyn

  • Published in World

A Basquiat masterpiece, bought by a Japanese billionaire for a record $110. 5 million, will make its museum debut this month, going on display in the artist's home borough of Brooklyn. Jean-Michel Basquiat's 1982 "Untitled" has been virtually unseen in public and never previously been exhibited in a museum. It depicts a skull-like head in oil-stick, acrylic and spray paint, and was bought at Sotheby's last May by Yusaku Maezawa. The $110. 5 million price tag set a new auction record for Basquiat and a record for the work of any US artist at auction. My wish to share this masterpiece with as many people as possible begins in Basquiat's home town of Brooklyn," Maezawa wrote on his Instagram account Thursday. Basquiat was born in Brooklyn to Haitian and Puerto Rican parents. He died 30 years ago, in 1988, of an overdose aged just 27 after a fleeting eight-year career. He enjoys a stratospheric following, his work snapped up by celebrities such as Leonardo DiCaprio and Jay-Z, but experts say his legacy has been largely confined to popular culture while museums have been accused of downplaying his stature. The subject of much of Basquiat's work, ordeals endured by blacks in America, has found renewed resonance in the wake of nationwide US protests since 2014 about the shootings of unarmed black men by police. The Brooklyn Museum said "Untitled" would be on view from January 26 to March 11. It will then go on a world tour, before being housed eventually in a museum that Maezawa is building in his home town of Chiba, Japan, the museum added. I am thrilled to be sending Basquiat's masterpiece home to Brooklyn," said the 42-year-old Japanese entrepreneur in a statement released by the museum. It is my hope that through the exhibition and extensive programming accompanying it, the young people of the borough will be inspired by their local hero, just as he has inspired so many of us around the world. An aspiring rock star as a teen, Maezawa founded Start Today in 1998, which operates Japan's largest online fashion mall, ZOZOTOWN. Today, he is the 14th richest person in Japan with a fortune of $3 billion, according to Forbes. Leonardo da Vinci's reputed "Salvator Mundi" sold for $450. 3 million at Christie's last November, becoming the most expensive work of art ever sold at auction.

Japan sewers clean up their act with manhole art

  • Published in World

Japan's sewerage industry has found a way to clean up its dirty and smelly image: elaborately designed and colourful manhole covers with 12,000 local varieties nationwide -- including, of course, a Hello Kitty design.

Appealing to a Japanese love of detail and "kawaii" ("cute"), bespoke manhole covers adorn the streets of 1,700 towns, cities and villages across Japan and have spawned a collection craze among so-called "manholers.

The designs represent an instant guide to a place as they feature its history, folklore, or speciality goods: a castle design for an ancient town, a bay bridge for a port and Mt Fuji for a city at the foot of Japan's iconic mountain.

As for Tama City, located in the western sprawl of greater Tokyo, locals are pinning their hopes on a more modern Japanese icon -- Hello Kitty -- to attract tourists, alongside the town's theme park showcasing much-loved children's character from the Sanrio company.

We'd be happy if people come and take some time for a stroll in our town while looking for the Hello Kitty manholes," said Mikio Narashima, who heads the city's sewage system division, after the city installed the first of the 10 designed covers.

Veteran spotter Shoji Morimoto said his passion for covers was fuelled after noticing that the central city of Fukui sported two phoenixes on its manholes.

He later learned the imaginary birds were a symbol of the town's rise from a 1945 devastating US air raid and a deadly earthquake three years later.

I sometimes do research on why the town has that particular design. I'm impressed whenever I find out it represents the town's history and culture," said Morimoto, who coined the word "manholer" for like-minded people.

Designed manholes cost more but appeal to a Japanese sense of detail, the 48-year-old Morimoto told AFP.

He has already visited all the designed manholes in his local area. Now I have to travel far," he admits.

It's treasure hunting for adults.

Manholers" take pictures of the covers they visit, with the more obsessive taking rubbings.

For others, the interest lies more in "cover bonsai", plants growing on soil accumulated on and around covers.

More than 3,000 people attended a "manhole summit" in western Japan in November.

And manhole covers are not simply there to hide away dirty sewers, enthuses Tetsuro Sasabe, who is interested in covers for telecoms infrastructure.

I'm interested in why the manhole is there, where it leads to -- I'd say I'm interested in what's under the manhole covers," he said.

He noted that there is a story even to plain covers -- such as finding the logos of now-defunct companies.

Given their size, the covers cannot easily be collected in the same way people hoard stamps and coins.

But to satisfy collectors' desire, the private-public GKP network designed to promote awareness on the importance of sewerage in society, has released 1. 4 million cards of 293 different covers.

The cards are free but they can only be obtained through local offices, thus working as a tourist magnet.

They are numbered in chronological order and come with the manhole's exact GPS information for the convenience of manholers.

We believe Japanese manholes are cultural products we can boast to the world," said Hideto Yamada, a GKP planning official.

And when a real cover does become available, demand is brisk.

The eastern city of Maebashi held a highly competitive lottery in October as its offer to sell 10 used manhole covers -- 40 kilogrammes of iron -- at 3,000 yen ($28) each was swamped with more than 190 bids.

The history of decorating manhole covers in Japan dates back 40 years to a bid to improve the image of the sewerage system, according to GKP's Yamada.

Cover designs must have the same friction level no matter which direction humans or cars come from so that people do not slip over them.

This need for friction resulted in placing extra streaks of clouds, sea waves or tiny stars in the background, giving birth to "condensed designs," Yamada said.

Overall, there are some 15 million manholes in Japan, of which only a fraction have colourful designed covers, carefully hand-painted.

A plain cover costs some $600 but a colourful, designed one can be double that depending on the number of colours used and the level of detail used.

The craze has since spread online with abundant information on where to find the best manholes via the hashtag #manhotalk.


India seek 'intent' to combat SA speed kings

India seek 'intent' to combat SA speed kings

You can't just stand there and take whatever is coming your way and not have intent," Kohli said after his team were beaten by 72 runs in the first Test in Cape Town.

You might get out but it's important to keep coming at the bowler and making them feel, 'if you make an error I am going to score.

With conditions at Centurion again likely to favour fast bowling, the problem for India is not just how they should execute Kohli's strategy -- but who should do it.

No Indian top-order batsman made more than 28 in either innings in Cape Town. The only two scores above 30 were 93 by Hardik Pandya in the first innings and 37 by Ravichandran Ashwin in the second.

Pandya and Ashwin were batting at number seven and eight respectively, which suggests India have enough depth in their batting order -- if their top-order players can get themselves through the new ball.

At least two batting positions will be debated as the tourists seek a way to play themselves back into the three-Test series.

Left-handed opener Shikhar Dhawan fell to short-pitched deliveries in both innings and there is an argument for Lokesh Rahul to take his place, while Ajinkya Rahane must be a contender to replace Rohit Sharma at number five.

Kohli said the selection for Cape Town was based on form. Rahane had a dismal recent series against Sri Lanka but has shown the ability to score runs away from home.

On India's 2013/14 tour of South Africa Rahane scored 47, 15, 51 not out and 96 in the two Test matches and looked one of the best-equipped Indian batsmen against pace.

South Africa, meanwhile, look set to once again pick a four-pronged pace attack, although they have to replace the injured Dale Steyn.

There are three candidates -- two out-and-out pace specialists in Duanne Olivier and Lungi Ngidi or Chris Morris who has batting skills as well as the ability to bowl at more than 140 kmh.

Both teams showed batting fragility in Cape Town, with India's pace bowlers showing they too could take advantage of helpful conditions.

AB de Villiers' aggression in innings of 65 and 35 was a key factor for South Africa. It is that sort of intent that both teams will be seeking in what promises to be another action-paced Test.

South Africa: Faf du Plessis (capt), Dean Elgar, Aiden Markram, Hashim Amla, AB de Villiers, Quinton de Kock, Vernon Philander, Chris Morris or Duanne Olivier or Lungi Ngidi, Keshav Maharaj, Kagiso Rabada, Morne Morkel.

India: Virat Kohli (capt), Murali Vijay, Shikhar Dhawan or Lokesh Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Rohit Sharma or Ajinkya Rahane, Hardik Pandya, Wriddhiman Saha, Ravichandran Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammad Shami, Jasprit Bumrah.


Pakistani anchor hosts bulletin with daughter to protest 8-yr-old’s rape

As Pakistan simmers under protests against the brutal rape and murder of an 8-year-old girl in Kasur, a news anchor with the popular Samaa TV protested by hosting a news bulletin with her daughter on Wednesday.

Kiran Naz, with her child on her lap, starts the bulletin by saying, “Today I’m not Kiran Naz. day, I’m a mother. This is why I am sitting here with my daughter.

The 1. 50 minute long emotionally-charged monologue by Naz sees her condemn the rapes and murders that plague the country. It is true when they say that the smallest coffins are the heaviest and entire Pakistan is burdened by the weight of her coffin.

The alleged rape and murder of the 8-year-old girl triggered violent protests in Punjab province that left two people dead in police firing on Wednesday.

Kasur town, located a short distance from the border with India, had been tense after the girl disappeared on January 4 while on her way home from a tuition centre. Her parents were away on a pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia, and her family circulated CCTV footage on social media that showed her with an unidentified man. Reports said the girl was allegedly raped multiple times before being strangled.

In the news bulletin, Naz points out the sad irony, that while the girl’s parents were praying for their daughter’s long life in Saudi Arabia and buying her toys, a “monster in Pakistan was raping her and throwing her body in trash. is not just a child’s rape and murder. This is the entire society’s murder.

Naz goes on to say that the 8-year-old’s rape and murder will once again initiate regret, investigation, committess, commission, enquiry and suo moto but, “the truth is that the girl does not need your justice. e will get justice by her God on Judgement Day when she questions her death and asks her fault.

The girl’s father, on returning to Pakistan on Wednesday, told the media that he would not bury her till justice was done.

Naz ends the bulletin by saying that it is not just the girl who is dead, the whole of humanity died with her.

Local media reports said the girl’s murder was the twelfth such case in Kasur over a period of one year. Kasur had hit the headlines in 2015 when a gang of paedophiles running a child sex ring was busted in the town. The gang allegedly abducted and sexually assaulted 280 children and blackmailed the families of some victims since 2009.


Movie reviews: 'Baywatch'

Authors: Ecroaker. com Boosters.

Only a true magician could find a way to make something light and fun and fresh out of the unwieldy, derivative and mostly unfunny endeavor that is 'Baywatch'. here.

The talented Chopra has comic chops, they remain untapped here; she's playing a character who describes herself as aspiring to being a 007 villain, but the actress finds no fun in Victoria's wickedness. here.

I take no pleasure in saying this, because Dwayne Johnson truly is one of the loveliest, most charismatic people in this town of tinsel. But his Baywatch (Johnson is an exec producer) is so. misguided. here.

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