3rd Contemporary Japanese Sculpture Exhibition

Contemporary Japanese Sculpture

Taki Miki

  The fact that Japanese sculpture has become remarkably vibrant and prosperous in recent years has always been well-suited, and now it will be obvious to anyone. Large-scale exhibitions and events, including international exhibitions on sculpture, have become frequent, and the number of sculpture museums is increasing, albeit a small number. This kind of tendency is common not only in Japan but also internationally, but it stands out especially in Japan where the layers of sculpture were thin until recent years, and the sculpture itself also has various conventional statues and figurines. It is undergoing a major transformation into a detailed model. These various changes are taking place at a rapid pace that we could not have imagined about 10 years ago.

  In the midst of a major revolution in sculpture, I would like to take a look at the footsteps of post-WWII Japanese sculpture, which is about to reach the quarter century, centering around the movement of the 1960s, which made a remarkable leap.

  Western-style engraving introduced in the Meiji era, especially modern Japanese sculpture that started with the goal of the realistic realism of European sculpture, ended up with a clear outline for many people, and was inspired by Rodin since the end of Meiji. Modern realism by guards, Kotaro Takamura and others was performed in some places, but it could not be mainstream, and the scriptures were Rodin, Bourdelle, Mayor, Despiou and others. In addition, although three-dimensional sculptures such as Zackin and Archipenko have been exhibited in the prewar two-group, the foundation where modern sculptures beginning with three-dimensionalism, futurism, or Brancusi were exhibited in Japan until the prewar Showa period. It was almost never. In this way, when post-war Japanese sculpture, which started with a great head gap with European modern sculpture, restarted amid the turmoil and stupor of the defeat, the keynote was the modern realism that draws on the flow up to Despio. It was a principle. On the other hand, abstract sculptures, which were rarely tried before the war, began to be widely used, but in the beginning, there were many eclectic expressions that were called semi-abstracts with strong geometric or constructivist elements. .. The main feature of abstract sculptures in the first half of the 1950s is the refreshing Japanese sensibility based on a simplified organic form.

  The rise of such abstract sculptures gave a real stimulus to realist sculptures, and gradually changed even in slower sculptures than in paintings. From the realism of observing the object accurately and grasping it from the customer’s side, there are many things that try to emphasize the subjectivity based on the object of nature, and the name concrete is distinguished from the conventional realism with the painting. I remember that it was in the middle of the 1950s that it was also used for sculpture. It was Henry Moore who had the greatest influence on the transformation of concrete sculpture during this period. Based on Moore’s nature observation, the so-called organic composition that boldly deforms the object is attracted by the difference between the academic real expression that has been learned and acquired and the view of humanity changed by the harsh war experience, It was a good place for people who were exploring new fields of expression. Moore, who has been conducting a wide range of explorations from highly concrete styles to simplified abstract shapes, gave the hollows the same positive meaning as internal clumps. It played a major role in expanding the concept of orthodox sculpture, and gave a broad stimulus to not only concrete sculpture but also abstract sculpture. Many people have actually changed their style from concrete to abstract with Moore as a clue.

  The abstract expressionism of Informel and Action Painting dominated the art world like a whirlwind, triggered by the exhibition of “World and Today’s Art” in 1981, but it had a deep connection with sculpture as well as painting. Expressions with intricately refracted organic forms or atypical forms can be said to be abstract sculptures corresponding to abstract expressionist paintings, but they are widely used to express post-war refracted psychology and absurd mental situations widely. It was conducted. Also around this time, new materials such as resins were developed one after another and incorporated into sculptures, which helped to expand the range of expression. In particular, the use of materials that transmit light strengthened the consciousness of the hollow space since Moore, and changed the concept of space. The rise of this abstract expressionism brought about a great change in the sculptural figuration as in the case of painting, and the dramatic deformation and metamorphosis showed dramatic psychological expressions and existential grasps of human figures. It is closely related to overseas sculptures due to frequent international exchanges, and various influences from Italian sculptures by Marino Marini and Manzo, English sculptures by Chadwick and Armitage, and French sculptures by Germaine Rissier. It can be pointed out that there was such a thing, but above all the dramatic expression of space by Marini’s simple form had a dramatic influence and had an overwhelming influence. The assertion that quantity should be viewed as tension, not as a feeling of weight, was argued among concrete sculptors. Also, in the latter half of the 1950s, a group of young post-war writers, who had been educated since the end of World War II and started their activities, gradually emerged. Gradually deepened the disconnection with the other people. Although the Yomiuri Independent Exhibition that began in 1949 is ridiculed by one side as “a rockabilly hustle”, I forgot that it became a foreground of a big leap in the 1960s through repeated bold anti-artistic experiments with scandals I can’t.

  The formation of “Group Contemporary Sculpture” in 1960 was a distinction between the 1950s and the 1960s. This name is not quite clear from today’s perspective, but it is said that avant-garde sculptors, independent of each group, autonomously united in a large group due to the movements that had been made within the framework of each art group until then. It attracted attention, and pre-war, wartime, and postwar writers lived together. This group of contemporary sculptures naturally became aborted by the second exhibition the following year, and one of the reasons is that the number of events related to sculpture has increased so rapidly that sculptors do not have to plan voluntarily. I think that the. In 1963, an international sculpture symposium was held in Manazuru, Kanagawa Prefecture, where overseas artists such as Maurice Lipsi and Couture and Japanese artists such as Takeshi Mouri participated. The first large-scale outdoor sculpture contest was held at the Museum of Outdoor Sculpture in Ube City, Yamaguchi Prefecture, and a series of ambitious up-and-coming sculptors appeared, and the “New Generation of Sculpture” exhibition was held at the National Museum of Modern Art. The movements of the new generation have begun to attract attention. The young generation of sculptors participated in the sculpture symposium of Yugoslavia every year after 1987, and the voice of the new generation gradually increased at the height of international exchange.

  Around the 1960s, movements such as Neo Dadaism in the United States and Nouveau Realism in Europe occurred, and new artistic views such as assemblage appeared. New trends such as pop art, primary structure, etc. are rapidly intersecting, and kinetic art that actively introduces evolving science and technology, as well as pursuing the existence of something in principle The world of sculpture has changed greatly, such as those with strong ideological thinking. In short, this means that the 1960s marked a major revolution in sculpture, and the orthodox concept of sculpture was in the process of collapsing. Japanese sculpture suddenly entered the middle of the collapse situation including the shock of abstract expressionism during the international exchange that rapidly became frequent after the war, so young sculptors after the war struck down their seniors against the European complex. I feel that the simultaneity due to the development of communication traffic is free, and I am free, bold, and quite optimistic, but actively producing. This is the reason why Japanese sculpture has been booming mainly among the younger generation for several years, and started to make international statements. For this reason, it is important to forget the sculptors who have traveled after the war and are active overseas. Can not. The decisive manifestation of this generation of alternation and the discontinuance of sculpture views is I believe in 1967 when the 2nd Contemporary Japanese Sculpture Exhibition in Ube City and the 9th Tokyo Biennale that preceded it were held.

  Contemporary Japanese sculptures, which at first glance show a chaotic appearance, are not only superficial varieties of materials, techniques, forms, expressions, etc. Complexly intertwine to form a multi-layered structure. It can be said that the major feature of this is that it is not a complete work as it is in the past, but is oriented toward a dynamic and environmental relationship in which the viewer and the work permeate and interact with each other. ..