In the wake of World War II, Japan experienced sweeping trans-formations. Rapid industrialization and the economic surge that began in the mid-1950s were soon overshadowed by deep anxiety, sparked by the US–Japan Security Treaty (Anpo), which sustained American military presence within Japan’s borders. This tension reached a fever pitch in the late 1960s, when political […]
“Nature and culture, national identity and private individuality, cultural isolationism and international appropriation, all of these polarities arise at the present moment…” These words were written to describe another exhibition of Japanese art presented by the Grey Art Gallery: Against Nature: Japanese Art in the Eighties. With The First Steps: Emerging Artists From Japan, we […]
In the West, from the Renaissance onwards, the “fine arts” have traditionally been distinguished from the “decorative arts.” Painting and sculpture have been deemed “purer” and ranked higher on a scale of aesthetic value than functional objects such as furniture and ceramics. Until recently, however, this distinction did not exist in Japan. Indeed, in the […]
Throughout Japanese history, art has been an integral part of everyday life. Consider the remarkable achievements in ceramics, textiles, and architecture that have emerged from this island nation over the centuries. Ukiyo-e, the colorful woodblock prints that were much admired and very influential in the West in the late nineteenth century, functioned much like manga, […]
Founded in 1872 as a Western-style pharmacy, Shiseido's history parallels that of the commercial production of cosmetics, which began only in the third quarter of the nineteenth century.
Born in Osaka in 1932, Atsuko Tanaka is a pioneering figure in the postwar Japanese art scene and an early member of the Gutai group of avant-garde artists.