Delve into the radical experiments of artists from 1960s Japan who made groundbreaking contributions to the development of international postwar art in defiance of existing conventions. Little known in the U.S., artist Yutaka Matsuzawa and the two collectives The Play and GUN challenged established norms to expand the definition of visual art through language, performance, mail art, land art, and political art. Radicalism in the Wilderness surveys the range of their projects, at times colorful, imaginative, and playful, but also inextricably linked to complex social, political, and cultural issues of the turbulent and innovative 1960s.
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During the 1960s, imaginative and innovative artistic practices figuratively and literally explored the concept of “wilderness.” Far away from Tokyo, artists executed radical experimentalism in remote settings, placing the foundation of their work outside of conventional art making. In this discussion, postwar art historian and critic Michio Hayashi (Professor, Sophia University, Tokyo), Radicalism guest curator Reiko Tomii and another expert illuminate the vanguard movement of the 1960s and after. Moderated by Japan Society Gallery Director Yukie Kamiya.
In 1954, Japan had an enormous cultural impact on New York City through artists Ruth Asawa, Saburo Hasegawa, Isamu Noguchi, Kenzo Okada, ceramicist/calligrapher Rosanjin and architect Junzo Yoshimura. Specialists explore the sensational Japan Boom that occurred before the global 1960s.