Atsuko Tanaka and Japanese Women Artists in the Context of Conceptualism 1950 – 2010

Atsuko Tanaka was one of the foremost members of Gutai, a group which focussed on experimental art forms, their manifesto proclaiming a new relationship between the materials and the human spirit. Within this primarily male-orientated group, Tanaka was particularly unconventional and stood out from the other Gutai members, as indeed she did from other international avant-garde artists of her time. This was due not only to her radical and metaphorical expression, but also the relationship between the body of work created especially between 1953 and 1957, and her way of thinking.

In celebration of the exhibition, Atsuko Tanaka: The Art of Connecting, the Japan Foundation has invited Chief Curator of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo (MOT) and exhibition curatorial team member Yuko Hasegawa, to discuss Japanese female artists and creatives from the 1950s to the present day, in the context of conceptualism. Going beyond Atsuko Tanaka, artists featured in her talk will also include Hideko Fukushima, a member of Jikken Kobo (Experimental Workshop) in the 1950s, Yoko Ono and Yayoi Kusama, both of whom are internationally recognised artists. Hasegawa will examine how the psychological deconstruction of images of women, both within social convention and common roles, function in the work of Tabaimo and Miwa Yanagi.  She will also explore the achievements ofKazuyo Sejima and Rei Kawakubo, some of Japan’s most influential creative minds.

By tracing conceptualism in Japan, and the significance of these various artists within a post-war framework, Hasegawa will explore the unique politics of Japanese female artists who were, and indeed are, conscious about the relationship between their work and body.

9 September 2011 from 6.30pm

The Japan Foundation, London
Russell Square House, 10-12 Russell Square
London WC1B 5EH

This event is free to attend but booking is essential. To reserve a place, please email your name and the title of the event you would like to attend to event@jpf.org.uk.

 

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Atsuko Tanaka The Art of Connecting

Atsuko Tanaka The Art of Connecting.

27 July 2011 from 6.30pm

Atsuko Tanaka (1932-2005) is without doubt one of Japan’s most important avant-garde artists. As a former member of the Gutai artist group which was founded in 1954, Tanaka has challenged the conventional notions of art through her powerful works including the iconic “Electric Dress”. Whether it be in paintings, sculpture, electric sound and light installations, or performance pieces, a commonality to Tanaka’s work is a distinct realism closely corresponding to her choice of materials.

In conjunction with, and celebration of, the UK’s first comprehensive exhibition of Atsuko Tanaka at Ikon Gallery in Birmingham, the Japan Foundation has invited two of the exhibition’s curators, Mizuho Kato, Visiting Associate Professor, Museum of Osaka University and former Chief Curator of Ashiya City Museum of Art and History in Japan, and Jonathan Watkins, Director of Ikon Gallery, to introduce the life and work of Atsuko Tanaka. As well as discussing the significance of the exhibition which covers the breadth of Tanaka’s career from her earliest works up to paintings completed just before her death, they will also highlight Tanaka’s achievements and their continued relevance to our contemporary visual world.

The Japan Foundation, London

Russell Square House, 10-12 Russell Square
London WC1B 5EH

Booking: This event is free to attend but booking is essential. To reserve a place, please email your name and the title of the event you would like to attend to event@jpf.org.uk.