View of “Mitsutoshi Hanaga,” 2017. Photo: Takahashi Fujikawa.

View of “Mitsutoshi Hanaga,” 2017. Photo: Takahashi Fujikawa.

Mitsutoshi Hanaga

Nadiff Gallery

View of “Mitsutoshi Hanaga,” 2017. Photo: Takahashi Fujikawa.

This exhibition, “Mitsutoshi Hanaga: 1000,” was modest yet calculated in its presentation, giving a small glimpse into the vast archive that artist and journalist Hanaga created—and the history he helped forge as well as document, as he examined the role of performance and theater, so intertwined with activism and resistance, in postwar Japanese society. 

The selected black-and-white images (hung in the gallery like contact prints) revealed Hanaga’s choreographic sense: He not only took photos, he also orchestrated them. In semijournalistic style, often using a Minolta CLE camera, he cultivated a symbiotic relationship with the subversive side of what has been called the “war-experienced generations”—a uniquely generative strain of defiance that evolved in response to widespread military, political, economic, and social reforms implemented by the United States between

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