PoNJA-GenKon in Partnership with CTCA Launches the “Online Bibliography of Post-1945 Japanese Art” Project
——March 15, 2018
PoNJA-GenKon is pleased to announce the launch of a project to create an “Online Bibliography of Post-1945 Japanese Art” to mark its 15th anniversary, in partnership with CTCA (The Centre for Transnational Cultural Analysis) at Carleton University, Ottawa.
The online bibliography created by PoNJA-GenKon and hosted by CTCA will consist of searchable bibliographic items on post-1945 Japanese art history, primarily in English and possibly other Western languages. It will also include one or more PDF files listing select entries that will serve as a study guide, a research reference, and other such introductory and advanced citation tools. The expected completion date is 2019.
The project is funded by Alexandra Munroe through a donation of her 2017 Japan Foundation Award prize money.
‘Japanorama – A New Vision on Art since 1970’ marks the final exhibition in Centre Pompidou-Metz’s year-long Japanese season (September 2017 – May 2018). Curated by Yuko Hasegawa, Artistic Director of the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo, it’s the most extensive survey exhibition of contemporary Japanese art outside of Japan since Alexandra Munroe’s ‘Japanese Art After 1945: Scream Against the Sky’ – which toured to The Yokohama Museum of Art, Yokohama, The Guggenheim, New York, and San Francisco MoMA in 1994 – and Jonathan Watkins’ ‘Facts of Life: Contemporary Japanese Art’ at the Hayward Gallery in London in 2001. This exhibition, however, consciously follows on from Centre Pompidou’s own 1986 show ‘The Avant-Garde Arts of Japan 1910-70’, which examined Japanese modernity chiefly in relation to the Western avant-garde.
It was 1990, and I was making a stop to see the new Yokohama Museum of Art on my regular rounds as an American curator of Japanese art. To my surprise, I was ushered into the vast office of the Director General and invited, point blank, to propose an exhibition for the museum like my recent Yayoi Kusama retrospective in New York. I paused. I was deep into researching a history of postwar Japanese avant-garde art, a topic so unknown in the west that I was rejected from graduate schools in art history before landing in the East Asian history department at NYU. The new museum, designed by Kenzo Tange, was advertised as the largest space for contemporary art in Japan. “I have an idea,” I heard myself saying. “How about a survey of the Japanese avant-garde, from Gutai to Dumb Type?” Taro Amano, who, in his early thirties, was a little older than me, jumped ahead of his elders with a prophetic, “Subarashii.Let’s do it.” I saw the galleries in my mind’s eye. “I would just like to be sure of one thing,” I said. “We will need to use the entire museum.”
When it comes to Modern art, exactly whose Modernism is it?
In recent years, a newer, so-called transnational approach to telling this story has emerged. Its practitioners have been making room in 20th-century art’s familiar narrative, which usually focuses on Western Europe and North America, for lesser-known artists, movements, ideas and events from other parts of the world.
Alexandra Munroe, the senior curator of Asian art at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York and its first “senior adviser, global arts,” is one of the most visibly active and influential scholars who have taken a transnational approach to her work.