Synopses & Reviews
At first sight, it appears brand new, pure Tokyo pop. But The Japanese Experience: Inevitable reveals far more than the successful cloning of morphed manga motifs onto stretched canvas and museum walls. It represents eight positions in contemporary Japanese art and scrutinizes their complex visual vocabulary, noting references to Japanese and Western art traditions as frequently as the borrowing of mass culture motifs from the realms of manga and anime. Takashi Murakami's MR. DOB questions the place of contemporary art in our global society; Aya Takano's glowing watercolors combine Japanese sensitivity, issues of female identity, and sci-fi; Masahiko Kuwahara's mutant animals provide shades of softness and mysterious openness, and Yoshitomo Nara's reworking of historical Japanese woodcuts disturbs the floating world. Not only are the artists' visual repertoires new and surprising, but their creative methods and strategies help conquer a public that is mostly untouched by contemporary art. Published in association with the Ursula Blickle Foundation.
At first sight it is brand new, pure Tokyo pop. But the publication "The Japanese Experience--Inevitable shows far more than the successful cloning of morphed Manga motifs with extensive painting, emphasizing two-dimensionality. It represents eight positions of contemporary Japanese art and scrutinizes their complex visual vocabulary. In proceeding this way, references to Japanese and Western art traditions--seen in the paintings, watercolors, drawings, sculptures, and videos shown here--stand out just as acquisitions of mass culture motifs would, from the realism of Manga (comic) or Anime (animated film), for instance. It is not only the visual repertoire which is new and surprising, but also the creative methods and strategies that are being used by the artists in order to conquer medical picture worlds and/or a public that is untouched, to a large extent, by contemporary art so far. Already--with the juxtaposition of massive space-filling paintings (like "Magic Ball--Positive and "Magic Ball--Negative by Takashi Murakami) with videos, T-shirts, soft toys, skateboards, and other Japanese artist-made "merchandising products" virtually available in the Web--it becomes clear that the deterritorialization of pictures has long since reached a new quality.