The Man and I had a comfortable morning/afternoon down in Little Tokyo. We went for two reasons – the Isamu Noguchi exhibit at the Japanese American National Museum and the mochi at Fugetsu-Do.
I didn’t know much about Noguchi before the exhibit. I’d seen his furniture designs and that was about it. I was quite surprised by the sculpture, because it was much more organic in both shapes, materials and finish. What I also didn’t know was his long involvement in the stage arts, including his sets for Martha Graham. What was particularly nice about the exhibit was that it showed video of the pieces in context. (See the exhibition preview here.)
It’s an interesting afternoon, not a huge display, just four large areas, but it was quite rich in both materials shown and the ambiance created for each room, including music, voice, floors and sounds. The also offer audio tours via cellphone, which I thought was a cool way to get away from those goofy wands. If you have an earpiece for your cell, it would probably be a great way to get more info. The entrance fee is a little pricey – at $12.00 per person – but we needed a little in-town getaway and Little Tokyo is so close, so easy and of course so satisfying. The exhibit runs until May 14th.
We walked through the rest of the museum and looked at the Japanese in America history installments, especially the concentration camp displays, which seem even more discomforting at the moment because of anti-immigration sentiments.
Then we strolled down First Street to Fugetsu-Do and then around the plaza, stopped at the grocer there for the dirt cheap green tea that they sell and then settled on a lunch spot. Sated and enriched, we headed home with our treats to continue the experience.