Mitsutoshi Hanaga: The documentation photograph of the Japanese avant-garde art and performance / 1964 -1973
  • Go back
  • IMG_2292

    Mitsutoshi Hanaga:
    The documentation photograph of the Japanese avant-garde art and performance (1964 – 1973)

    Aoyama Meguro Gallery
    (July 18 – August 22)

    Sam Francis
    Wolf Kahlen
    Vlasta Cihakova Noshiro
    Stelarc
    Arata Isozaki
    Genpei Akasegawa, One-Thousand-Yen-Incident & Trial
    Hi-Red Center
    Zero Jigen
    Shuzo Azuchi Gulliver
    Shinjuku protests, 1975
    13th anniversary of the death of Marilyn Monroe (1973)
    Taj Mahal Travellers
    Shuji Terayama
    Kazuo Ohno (Ref: “Butoh: Body on the Edge of Crisis”)

    Real people, real culture, not fabricated, as it happened. Sniffing solvent from bags.

    The archive is negatives only. Prints were never made and this show is the first time they’ve ever been shown this way. Photographs were selected on the basis that they represent the youth and vitality of the day. But its a vulnerable youth and Larry Clarks ‘Kids’ was a reference point a way of framing a body of work that ran over a decade during a period of immense cultural diversity. Shuji Terayama and Hanaga were very close friends and he wanted Hanaga to shoot Terayama’s ‘death mask’ but Hanaga’s magazine refused.

    A timely exhibition, it proves how genuine culture was and how influential it became not only for modern Japan but further afield as well. In the context of modern politics, young artists continued to band together protesting any sense of authority by simply ‘being’, refusing to take part in the witnessed circus they bore little relationship with. Essentially photographs of kids, some of who would go on to become important figures in art, architecture, literature and film, show how vital a counter culture it was and how fondly remembered it still is, with admiration and respect beyond measure — still powerful, with the potential to challenge the  status quo and the political reluctance to embrace the full freedom of self expression.

     

    Originally published on August 21, 2015