Where Is Tokyo?: 1960s Art in Japan, As Seen through the Artist’s Operation
This talk begins with the self-evident question “Where is Tokyo?” in order to reconsider the macro framework of world art history. To do so, Tomii will introduce a new key concept, the artist’s “operation,” as opposed to the artist’s “expression.” The concept of “operation” not only allows the construction of an overarching narrative that links prewar and postwar Japan, but also serves as a relevant theoretical and methodological building block in the study of multiple modernisms and global contemporary art. The talk will focus on two examples from 1960s Japan: Gutai, established in 1954; and the artist-organized independent exhibition movement that launched in 1964, which was short lived but left an important legacy to the local history.