Between Collectivism and Individualism — Japanese Avant-garde in the 1950s and the 1960s

25.11.2021 – 13.03.2022 Between Collectivism and Individualism — Japanese Avant-garde in the 1950s and the 1960s

Zachęta – National Gallery of Art

curator: Maria Brewińska
exhibition co-organized with: The Japan Foundation
exhibition is realized in cooperation with: Takamatsu Art Museum, the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo and the Museum of Modern Art, Kamakura & Hayama
exhibition committee: Mr. Tsutomu Mizusawa, director of the Museum of Modern Art, Kamakura & Hayama, Chair of the Committee, Mr. Masao Momiyama, curator of the Museum of Modern Art, Kamakura & Hayama
Mrs. Naoko Mohri, curator of the Takamatsu Art Museum, Mr. Yuji Makino, curator of the Takamatsu Art Museum
honorary patronage: Embassy of Japan in Poland
partner: TZF Polfa S.A.

The exhibition presents, for the first time in Poland, avant-garde Japanese art from two historical decades, a time of ground-breaking events and transformations that resulted in the emergence of the Japan we know today. It features works by the most important artists of the time, rarely shown outside Japan, and documentation of the avant-garde movements of the time.

Japan, reborn after the war, transformed itself in the 1950s and 1960s at a dizzying pace — hosting the Tokyo Summer Olympics in 1964 and the Expo’70 in 1970. The eponymous decades, although still marked by the experiences of war and post-war political ferment, also saw a redefinition of Japanese culture. The contemporary language of art emerging in Japan at that time, encompassing new works in painting, installation, performance, photography, printmaking or film, makes us aware of the dynamics of change and captures the energy of the art produced in this unique period, when the country, for the first time in its history, joined the processes of global cooperation and transformation. The opening of Japan to Western influence created favourable conditions for the development of avant-garde art in the 1950s — artists built new creative strategies far from the previously known forms imposed by traditional hierarchical organisations and associations.

The exhibition at the Zachęta gallery presents works by artists who broke with the conventional understanding of art and focuses primarily on the of avant-garde group and artistic trend emerging at the time. Presented for the first time are, among others, paintings by so-called reportage painters (avant-garde realists), who revealed the contradictions of post-war Japanese society in a realistic style, making their political message easily understandable. In the politically turbulent 1950s, innovative art movements and groups emerged in various parts of the country. The network of interconnectedness of individualities and collective practices is visible in the works and archival documents of groups such as Jikken Kōbō, the Democratic Artists Association, the Gutai Art Association, Kyūshū-ha (Kyushu School) and the photographic collective Vivo. The 1960s brought many of outstanding works by representatives of the older generation, and also resulted in works by the new generation, whose radical installations actions and happenings performances changed the face of the Japanese avant-garde. Prominent among them were the activities of Neo Dada, Zero Jigen, Hi Red Center, The Play, GUN (Group Ultra Niigata), Bikyōtō and Provoke. The desire to reconcile the seemingly contradictory attitudes of individualism with collectivisation, which manifested in many ways, turned out to be invigorating for the development of Japanese contemporary art. The exhibition presents works that, through the search for forms and strategies of artistic expression adequate to the times, made Japan a new centre of artistic life.


The Play, photograph

Works on exhibition

  • Zdjęcie pracy Ay-O, "Pastoral", 1956, oil on plywood, Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo
    Ay-O, "Pastoral", 1956, oil on plywood, Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo
  • Zdjęcie pracy Kazuo Shiraga, "Ten’isei Soben Koen Shaku", from the "Water Margin" series, 1964, oil on canvas, Takamatsu Art Museum, photo: Miyawaki Shintaro
    Kazuo Shiraga, "Ten’isei Soben Koen Shaku", from the "Water Margin" series, 1964, oil on canvas, Takamatsu Art Museum, photo: Miyawaki Shintaro
  • Zdjęcie pracy Genpei Akasegawa, "Morphology of Revenge (Take a Close Look at the Opponent before You Kill Him)", 1963, ink on paper, Nagoya City Art Museum
    Genpei Akasegawa, "Morphology of Revenge (Take a Close Look at the Opponent before You Kill Him)", 1963, ink on paper, Nagoya City Art Museum

Video guide in Polish Sign Language

00:00/00:00
Related media
  • Grafika obiektu: 3D Exhibition: Between Collectivism and Individualism —
    mediateka / 3D documentation
    3D Exhibition: Between Collectivism and Individualism —
    Japanese Avant-garde in the 1950s and the 1960s
  • Grafika obiektu: Between Collectivism and Individualism —
    mediateka / posters
    Between Collectivism and Individualism —
    Japanese Avant-garde in the 1950s and the 1960s
  • Grafika obiektu: Between Collectivism and Individualism —
    mediateka / posters
    Between Collectivism and Individualism —
    Japanese Avant-garde in the 1950s and the 1960s
  • Grafika obiektu: Between Collectivism and Individualism —
    mediateka / posters
    Between Collectivism and Individualism —
    Japanese Avant-garde in the 1950s and the 1960s
  • Grafika obiektu: Between Collectivism and Individualism —
    mediateka / posters
    Between Collectivism and Individualism —
    Japanese Avant-garde in the 1950s and the 1960s
  • Grafika obiektu: Between Collectivism and Individualism — Japanese Avant-garde in the 1950s and the 1960s
    mediateka / video-documentation
    Between Collectivism and Individualism — Japanese Avant-garde in the 1950s and the 1960s
    Video documentation
Related events
  • 28.11.2021 (Sun) 12:15
    Curatorial guided tour
    (in Polish)
    Zachęta – National Gallery of ArtZachęta
  • 05.12.2021 (Sun) 12:15
    Sunday guided tour
    (in Polish)
    Zachęta – National Gallery of ArtZachęta
  • 05.12.2021 (Sun) 12:30
    Travel in Japan
    Family workshops (in Polish)
    Zachęta – National Gallery of ArtZachęta
  • 12.12.2021 (Sun) 16:00
    Sunday guided tour
    (in Polish)
    Zachęta – National Gallery of ArtZachęta
  • 14.12.2021 (Tue) 18:00
    Guided tour with Jakub Karpoluk
    (in Polish)
    Zachęta – National Gallery of ArtZachęta
  • 16.12.2021 (Thu) 12:15
    Looking/Seeing. Contemporary art and the seniors
    (in Polish)
    Zachęta – National Gallery of ArtZachęta
  • 18.12.2021 (Sat) 12:30
    Playing with Japanese calligraphy
    Workshops for children with autism (in Polish)
    Zachęta – National Gallery of ArtZachęta
  • 18.12.2021 (Sat) 14:00
    Екскурсія виставкою японського авангарду українською
    Guided tour in Ukrainian
    Zachęta – National Gallery of ArtZachęta
  • 18.12.2021 (Sat) 16:00
    Экскурсия по выставке японского авангарда на русском
    Guided tour in Russian
    Zachęta – National Gallery of ArtZachęta
  • 19.12.2021 (Sun) 12:15
    Sunday guided tour
    (in Polish)
    Zachęta – National Gallery of ArtZachęta
  • 19.12.2021 (Sun) 15:00
    Abstract calligraphy
    Family workshops (in Polish)
    Zachęta – National Gallery of ArtZachęta
  • 19.12.2021 (Sun) 16:00
    Sunday guided tour
    (in Polish)
    Zachęta – National Gallery of ArtZachęta
  • 26.12.2021 (Sun) 12:15
    Sunday guided tour
    (in Polish)
    Zachęta – National Gallery of ArtZachęta
  • 02.01 (Sun) 12:15
    Sunday guided tour
    (in Polish)
    Zachęta – National Gallery of ArtZachęta
  • 09.01 (Sun) 12:15
    Sunday guided tour
    (in Polish)
    Zachęta – National Gallery of ArtZachęta
  • 16.01 (Sun) 12:15
    Sunday guided tour
    (in Polish)
    Zachęta – National Gallery of ArtZachęta
  • 16.01 (Sun) 12:30
    Electric Dress
    Family workshops (in Polish)
    Zachęta – National Gallery of ArtZachęta
  • 18.01 (Tue) 12:15
    Looking/Seeing. Contemporary art and the seniors
    (in Polish)
    Zachęta – National Gallery of ArtZachęta
  • 23.01 (Sun) 12:15
    Sunday guided tour
    (in Polish)
    Zachęta – National Gallery of ArtZachęta
  • 23.01 (Sun) 12:30
    Electric Dress
    Family workshops (in Polish)
    Zachęta – National Gallery of ArtZachęta
  • 30.01 (Sun) 12:15
    Sunday guided tour
    (in Polish)
    Zachęta – National Gallery of ArtZachęta
  • 06.02 (Sun) 12:15
    Sunday guided tour
    (in Polish)
    Zachęta – National Gallery of ArtZachęta
  • 13.02 (Sun) 12:15
    Sunday guided tour
    (in Polish)
    Zachęta – National Gallery of ArtZachęta
  • 20.02 (Sun) 15:00
    Olympic poster
    Family workshops (in Polish)
    Zachęta – National Gallery of ArtZachęta
  • 26.02 (Sat) 12:30
    Zachęta Signs!
    Guided tour in Polish Sign Language
    Zachęta – National Gallery of ArtZachęta
  • 26.02 (Sat) 16:00
    Zachęta Signs!
    Family workshops (in Polish)
    Zachęta – National Gallery of ArtZachęta
  • 27.02 (Sun) 12:15
    Sunday guided tour
    (in Polish)
    Zachęta – National Gallery of ArtZachęta
  • 05.03 (Sat) 18:00
    Between Collectivism and Individualism
    Maria Brewińska in conversation with Stach Szabłowski i Karol Sienkiewicz (in Polish)
    Zachęta / cinema room (entrance through the cloakroom )Zachęta / cinema room (entrance through the cloakroom )
  • 06.03 (Sun) 12:30
    Second life of items
    Family workshops (in Polish)
    Zachęta – National Gallery of ArtZachęta
  • 06.03 (Sun) 13:15
    Sunday guided tour
    (in Polish)
    Zachęta – National Gallery of ArtZachęta
  • 08.03 (Tue) 18:00
    Accessible art
    Workshops for the blind and visually impaired (in Polish)
    Zachęta – National Gallery of ArtZachęta
  • 12.03 (Sat) 12:30
    Sports hero
    Family workshops (in Polish)
    Zachęta – National Gallery of ArtZachęta
  • 12.03 (Sat) 17:00
    Endless Box
    Performance by Hany Umedy
    Zachęta – National Gallery of ArtZachęta
  • 13.03 (Sun) 12:15
    Sunday guided tour
    (in Polish)
    Zachęta – National Gallery of ArtZachęta
  • 13.03 (Sun) 12:30
    Rituals
    Family workshops (in Polish)
    Zachęta – National Gallery of ArtZachęta
  • 13.03 (Sun) 16:00
    Curatorial guided tour
    (in Polish)
    Zachęta – National Gallery of ArtZachęta
E-BOOKSHOP
  • Publikacje Zachęty
    149,00 złBetween collectivism and individualism - Japanese avant-garde of the 50s and 60s
  • Gadżety Zachęty
    25,00 złBetween collectivism and individualism - japanese avant-garde of the 50s and 60s - poster (english version)
  • Gadżety Zachęty
    25,00 złBetween collectivism and individualism - japanese avant-garde of the 50s and 60s - poster (polish version)

Information

Between Collectivism and Individualism —
Japanese Avant-garde in the 1950s and the 1960s
25.11.2021 – 13.03.2022

Zachęta – National Gallery of Art
pl. Małachowskiego 3, 00-916 Warsaw
See on the map

Godziny otwarcia:
Tuesday – Sunday 12–8 p.m.
Thursday – free entry
ticket office is open until 7.30 p.m.

Exhibition co-organized with:

Honorary Patronage - Embassy of Japan in Poland:

Partner: