Post War Photography

All posts tagged Post War Photography

New Video: Japanese Art after 1945 Scream Against the Sky

by Alexandra_Munroe on May 20, 2016

Japanese Art After 1945: Scream Against the Sky
From the new video series: Eyes on Fire with Alexandra Munroe

Produced by: Sartorian Ventures
Photographed by: Amy Khoshbin and Matt Stanton
Edited by: Amy Khoshbin
Music by: Andre Mistier

Photo credits and copyright notices:

Produced by: Sartorian Ventures
Photographed by: Amy Khoshbin and Matt Stanton
Edited by: Amy Khoshbin,
Music by:

Playing With Gods III: At Night, 1991
Computer-manipulated color photograph
141 ¾ x 98 3/8 in.
Yokohama Museum of Art
Courtesy of the artist and Yoshiko Isshiki Office, Tokyo

Protest, Tokyo, 1969
Gelatin silver print
11 3/8 x 16 in.
Collection of the artist
© Shomei Tomatsu – INTERFACE

Red Circle on black, 1965
Acrylic on canvas
71 ¾ x 89 ¾ in.
Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art, Kobe

Untitled, 1959
Oil on canvas
70 7/8 x 110 in.
Collection Walker Art Center, Minneapolis
T.B. Walker Acquisition fund, 1998

Outdoor Gutai Art Exhibition, Ashiya Park
Ashiya, July 27–August 5, 1956
Osaka City Museum of Modern Art, GA 10

HIJIKATA Tatsumi performing Hijikata Tatsumi and The Japanese – Revolt of the Flesh at the Seinen Kaikan hall, Tokyo, 1968
Photo: Nakatani Tadao
Courtesy of Butoh Laboratory Japan

YANAGI Yukinori
Hinomaru Illumination, 1993
Neon and painted steel, with ceramic haniwa figures
Neon flag 118 1/8 x 177 1/8 x 15 3/4 in.; each haniwa approx. 39 3/8 in. high
Installation at Artec’93, Nagoya City Art Museum, Nagoya
Courtesy of Yanagi Studio
YANAGI Yukinori
Hinomaru Illumination, 1993
Installation at Guggenheim Museum Soho, New York for Japanese Art after 1945: Scream against the Sky, 1995
Courtesy of Yanagi Studio

Atsuko Tanaka wearing her Electric Dress suspended from the ceiling at the 2nd Gutai Art Exhibition, 1956
© Kanayama Akira and Tanaka Atsuko Association

Electric Dress (DenkiFuku), 1956/1986
Painted light bulbs, electric cords, timer, and controle console
65 x 31 1/2 x 31 1/2 in.
Takamatsu Art Museum
© Kanayama Akira and Tanaka Atsuko Association

Various Artists
Fluxkit, 1965
Vinyl-covered attaché case, containing objects in various media
13 3/8 x 17 1/2 x 4 15/16 in.
Museum of Modern Art, New York, The Gilbert and Lila Silverman Fluxus Collection Gift

Saburo MURAKAMI making Six Holes before the opening of the 1st Gutai Art Exhibition
Ohara Hall, Tokyo, October 19-28, 1955
©Makiko Murakami, Courtesy of the Estate of Saburo Murakami and ARTCOURT Gallery

YOSHIMURA Masunobu advertising the third exhibition of Neo Dada Organizers in Tokyo streets, 1960
Photo by Takeo Ishimatsu
Oita Art Museum, Oita

Yayoi Kusama
No. F, 1959
Oil on canvas, 41 ½ x 52 in.
Museum of Modern Art, New York, Sid R. Bass Fund
© Yayoi Kusama, Yayoi Kusama Studio Inc.

Yoko Ono
“Voice Piece for Soprano”, Autumn 1961
Yoko Ono. Grapefruit. A Book of Instructions and Drawings by Yoko Ono. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1970.

Special thanks to artists, institutions and individuals for their assistance.

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Alexandra_MunroeNew Video: Japanese Art after 1945 Scream Against the Sky

Postwar Japanese Photography and the Pursuit of Consciousness

by Alexandra_Munroe on November 3, 1999

Originally published in Daido Moriyama: Stray Dog. Reproduced by permission of the publisher.

Postwar Japanese Photography and the Pursuit of Consciousness
by Alexandra Munroe

In 1961 Daidō Moriyama left his native Osaka for Tokyo, where he was determined to join VIVO, a radical collective of contemporary photojournalists. Bearing an introduction from a prestigious colleague,[i] Moriyama headed for the VIVO studio in Tsukiji, the fish-market district bordering the Ginza, in downtown Tokyo, and a burgeoning haven for the avant-garde. There he encountered the young photographers Eikoh Hosoe (b. 1933) and Shōmei Tōmatsu (b. 1930) and was told the despairing news that VIVO was to disband within a week. Undeterred, Moriyama persuaded Hosoe to accept him as an assistant. Over the following three years, as an apprentice to Hosoe, Moriyama finally realized his ambition—to learn, and then to go beyond, VIVO’s photographic style.

Although VIVO had been active only since 1959, it culminated a movement in postwar Japanese photography with roots dating back to the early 1950s and anticipated and profoundly influenced Japanese photographic style of the 1960s and 1970s. Using a grainy and high-contrast surface, and a cropped and abstract style to depict the fragmented reality of Japanese urbanism and the eerie conditions of Japanese modernity, these photographers forged a discourse on the fundamental questions of photography as praxis—its relationship to social and political revolution, its ambiguous function as both documentary evidence and art, and its structural dialectic between subjective and objective realism. Drawing on the prewar history in Japan of both photojournalism and surrealist art photography, and inspired by contemporary American photography, especially the gritty cityscapes of William Klein, VIVO arose in response to the existential and radical ideas that shaped Japan’s postwar intellectual and cultural vanguard.

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Alexandra_MunroePostwar Japanese Photography and the Pursuit of Consciousness