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Performance Histories. Japanese Performance Art 1960s–70s

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Asia House

63 New Cavendish Street

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Performance Histories. Japanese Performance Art 1960s–70s

DRAF Curators' Series #11. Institute of Asian Performance Art. By Victor Wang

#AsiaHouseArts #DRAF #CuratorsSeries #AsianPerformanceArt


This event is part of the 2018 Arts and Learning Autumn Programme and the 11th edition of DRAF Curators' Series #11



This event includes a drinks reception


International art historians Yumiko Chiba, Reiko Tomii and Yuri Mitsuda present a series of talks, part of the 11th edition of DRAF Curators' Series curated by Victor Wang, looking at performance collectives and movements in Japan 1960-70s—an era celebrated for its pioneering early experiments and innovations in body-based and time-based art. Asia House is pleased to be partnering with DRAF to conduct this event, divided in three parts.

Reiko Tomii discusses ‘Publicity as Reward’ in 1960s Japan, a particular motivational factor in the context of an isolated location and lack of market for contemporary art. Publicity constituted “reward” in otherwise a “rewardless” (mushō) world of vanguard art. Tomii examines how publicity shaped the performative practices of artist Matsuzawa Yutaka (1922–2006), Kansai-based performance and happenings group The Play and Nigata-based group GUN.

Yuri Mitsuda discusses the influential Hi-Red Center (active 1963–64), founded in Tokyo by the artists Genpei Akasegawa, Natsuyuki Nakanishi and Jiro Takamatsu. Hi-Red Center created happenings and events that were socially reflective, anti-establishment and anti-commercial. The group used the urban environment to create interventions that raised questions about centralised authority and the role of the individual in society.

Tokyo-based Yumiko Chiba discusses her experiences working with the Estate of Jiro Takamatsu (1936–98), a central figure in the development avant-garde movements in post-War Japan. She discusses the significance of Takamatsu’s work, his international legacy, and the influence he has had upon the art world in Japan and worldwide.

Asia House and DRAF would like to thank the following organisations for their support.


About Victor Wang

Victor Wang 王宗孚 is an independent curator based in Shanghai and London. Recent exhibitions include Michael Dean: Analogue LOL (2018) at ShanghART Gallery, Shanghai; XUZHEN Supermarket (2007/2017) and the group exhibition Zhongguo 2185 at Sadie Coles HQ, London; Katja Novitskova (2017) at the Cc Foundation & Art Centre, Shanghai; Rehearsals from the Korean Avant-Garde Performance Archive (2017) at the Korean Cultural Centre, London; Jac Leirner: Borders Are Drawn By Hand (2016) at MoCA Pavilion, Shanghai; Neïl Beloufa: Soft(a)ware (2016) at K11 Foundation Shanghai; and Ensemble sin órganos (2016) (with Blanca Victoria López) at the Centro de Arte Contemporáneo Wifredo Lam, Havana. In 2015, Wang was appointed by the K11 Art Foundation as a curator (with Jo-ey Tang) of the travelling exhibition Inside China – L’Intérieur du Géant (Shanghai Station), the first collaborative exhibition between Palais de Tokyo, Paris, and K11 Art Foundation. Wang has curated film programmes, performances, talks and exhibitions at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London. In 2014 Wang assisted the curatorial team of the Twelfth Havana Biennial (2015), and was Assistant Curator for the Vancouver Pavilion at the 9th Shanghai Biennale (2012). Wang is a contributor to artforum.


About Reiko Tomii

Reiko Tomii 富井玲子 (b. Osaka, Japan) is an independent art historian and curator based in New York, whose work investigates post-1945 Japanese art in global and local contexts for the narration of a world art history of modernisms. Her early works include her contribution to Global Conceptualism (Queens Museum of Art, 1999), Century City (Tate Modern, 2001), and Art, Anti-Art, Non-Art (Getty Research Institute, 2007). As Co-Founder/Co-Director of PoNJA-GenKon, established in 2003, she has organised several conferences and symposiums in collaboration with Yale University, Getty Research Institute, Guggenheim Museum, and University of Chicago, among others. She is a prolific writer whose latest publication is Radicalism in the Wilderness: International Contemporaneity and 1960s Art in Japan (MIT Press, 2016), which has received the 2017 Robert Motherwell Book Award.


About Yumiko Chiba

Yumiko Chiba 千葉由美子 lives and works in Tokyo, Japan. She is the founder of Yumiko Chiba (YCA), an artist management office launched in 1998. YCA represents the Estate of many important artists in Japanese contemporary art history including Jiro Takamatsu, Masafumi Maita and Katsuro Yoshida. In 2010, YCA opened a commercial gallery in Shinjuku, Tokyo as “viewing room” and has held a large number of solo shows for both established artists and artists in the young generation. In addition to the above, YCA has planned and organised contemporary art shows at the galleries and museums inside and outside of Japan. YCA also has published many research booklets with critical essays, contributing to interpretations of artists in terms of art history, including the Critical Archive series looking at movements and ideas in pre- to post-war Japan.

About Yuri Mitsuda

Yuri Mitsuda 光田ゆり (b. 1962, Nishinomiya, Japan) is an art critic and curator at Kawamura Memorial DIC Museum of Art. She graduated from Kyoto University, Department of Literature. Some of her major books include Words and Things: Jiro Takamatsu and Japanese Art 1961 – 72 (Daiwa Press, 2012), From bijutsu hihyo [Art criticism, 1952-1957] and its Era (Fuji Xerox Art Bulletin, 2006), Yasuzo Nojima (AKAAKA, 2009). Mitsuda has organized exhibitions including Talking about Art: The Viewpoint of Yusuke Nakahara (Kawamura Memorial DIC Museum of Art, 2016), For A New World to Come: Experiments in Japanese Photography, 1968-1979 (Japan Society, 2015), Hi-Red Center: The Document of “Direct Action (Nagoya City Museum, 2013-2014), SHINJIRO OKAMOTO THE BIG BOMB at 25:00 (The Shoto Museum of Art, 2011), Yasuzo Nojima 1889 – 1964 Works and Archives (The Shoto Museum of Art, 2009), Nakanishi Natsuyuki New Paintings (The Shoto Museum of Art, 2008), Kiyoji Otsuji: Encounter and Collaboration (The Shoto Museum of Art, 2006) and Nakaji Yasui photographer 1903-1942 (Kyodo News, 2004).


Image Credit: Hi Red Center's Cleaning Event (officially known as 'Be Clean!' and 'Campaign to Promote Cleanliness and Order in the Metropolitan Area'), 1964. © Minoru Hirata / Courtesy of Taka Ishii Gallery Photography / Film

This event is part of the Asia House 2018 Autumn Arts and Learning Programme, a completely unique initiative in the UK in presenting a pan-Asian artistic and cultural programme with a scope of more than 40 countries in the region. Through our programme of events on arts, culture and education we act as a catalyst for the discovery of the diverse arts and cultures of Asia and the Asian diaspora, and serve as a bridge of understanding between the UK and Asia.

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DRAF (David Roberts Art Foundation) is an independent, non-profit organisation for contemporary art. For more information, see www.davidrobertsartfoundation.com. The Curators' Series (2009 – ongoing) supports independent curators by commissioning special research-based exhibitions.Curators’ Series is supported by Arts Council England. Institute of Asian Performance Art is supported by Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation and Daiwa Foundation.

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63 New Cavendish Street

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W1G 7LP

United Kingdom

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