“When I Grow Up, I Will be an Artist.” Japanese Avant-garde’s Experimental Sandpit

Klara HRVATIN

Abstract


Sōgetsu Art Center, one of the most important venues for the avant-garde in 1960s Japan, could be defined as an artistic “experimental sandpit”. Its activities brought new musical expressions to the world of Japanese art, and lead to the independent film production. Japanese artists could play in this sandpit with a group of interdisciplinary peers and thus search for their most suitable artistic styles. Good examples are film director Hiroshi Teshigahara (1927–2001), playwright Kōbō Abe (1924–1993) and musician Tōru Takemitsu (1930–1996).

The article gives an insight into the artistic associations and events, which took place under the roof of the Sōgetsu Art Center in the period from September 1958 to March 1971. The emphasis will be put on the main associations; activities related to the fields of jazz music, contemporary music, experimental film and animation. We will look for the common ground among these, and note the innovations which were brought about by the main participants at the Center in the fields of music and film.


Keywords


Sōgetsu Art Center (SAC), Sōgetsu Music Inn, Sōgetsu Contemporary Series, Sōgetsu Cinematheque, Cinema 57, ATG, John Cage’s shock

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References


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4312/as.2017.5.1.243-269

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