Yoshiaki Tono


    REGRETTABLY IT SEEMS TO ME that in general Japan takes up the rearguard of the feminist movement, and it is still not off the mark to think of contemporary Japan as a man’s country. Nevertheless, since the late ’70s, work by women in cultural areas has finally come to assume a degree of prominence, which is a notable achievement in such a male-dominated environment.

    At the Tama University of Art, in Tokyo, I used to hold a seminar called the “T Seminar” which planned and produced an exhibition each fall. Several years ago, during a discussion about what theme the next exhibition should take, the

  • Japan

    The exhibition “From ‘Space’ to ‘Environment’” held at Matsuya Department Store in Tokyo was one of the most controversial shows in Japan in many a season. The exhibition was organized by the “Kankyo Group” (“Group for Environmental Art”), composed of Kuniharu Akiyama and Toshi Ichiyanagi (composers), Katsuhiro Yamaguchi (sculptor), Arata Isozaki (urban designer), Masakazu Nagai, Kiyoshi Awazu, Mitsuo Katsui, and Shigeo Fukuda (graphic designers), Shuzo Takiguchi, Yusuke Nakahara, and Yoshiaki Tono (critics). Thirty five artists participated.

    Some of the works needed the actual physical participation

  • Shusaku Arakawa, Tomio Miki, and Tetsumi Judo

    When I returned to Tokyo in 1959 from my first trip through Europe and America, I was surprised to find a new, bizarre group of young artists, mostly in their twenties, called the Neo-Dada Organizers. They exhibited primarily in the Yomiuri Independent Show, the Japanese equivalent to France’s Salon de Refuses. The Neo-Dada Organizers could be considered an updated version of the older Gutai group, who produced its first Happenings in the ’50s. The younger artists were characterized by a disenchantment with the Abstract Expressionism which had so tremendously influenced the Japanese art world: