Japanese exhibit opens at Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art

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A two-part, yearlong exploration of Japanese art opened at the Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art in Las Vegas on Nov. 16.

Presented by MGM Resorts Art & Culture, "Material Existence: Japanese Art from Jomon Period to Present" features large-scale installations complemented by smaller works, some of which are being shown in the U.S. for the first time.

Many pieces are from the country's Kansai region, and all reflect an attitude toward materiality and the natural world unique to Japanese tradition and culture, according to a press release announcing the exhibition.

A rare goggle-eyed dogu, a clay ritual object in the shape of a human body, highlights Part 1, on display through April 26. It is considered to be among the most intact and refined examples of Jomon pottery, Japan's earliest sculptures from between 1,000 and 300 BC.

An iconic Haniwa figure, a helmeted head of a warrior, exemplifies the later Kofun period of the mid-third century to sixth century. These figures were made for ritual use and set up around mounded tombs.

Works of contemporary Japanese artists will also be displayed.

Part 2, May 16-Oct. 11, explores earth and light on a deeper level. Ritsue Mishima's colorless glass works and Takashi Kunitani's neon light installation will be among the highlights. Toshimitsu Imai employed sand, paint and resin for "Modern Times" (1956), which will also be on display.

"MGM Resorts is excited to present a survey of art that invites cultural discovery, dialogue and exchange, bringing in some of the most unique pieces and objects made in Japan from ancient to contemporary times," said Tarissa Tiberti, executive director of MGM Resorts Art & Culture.

Independent curator Alison Bradley said she is privileged to be working with MGM Resorts Art & Culture. "Through long-term exhibitions and the concurrent Artist Studio at Bellagio, MGM Resorts is fostering a welcoming environment for artists as well as a highly visible space for art from Japan, both within [the Bellagio Gallery] and the ever-evolving MGM Resorts Fine Art Collection," Bradley said.

The Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art is open daily from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tickets are $15. For additional information, visit bellagio.mgmresorts.com/en/entertainment/gallery-of-fine-art.html.

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