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image image The Accidental Surrealist: Toshiko Okanoue
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Alice Gordenker
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Toshiko Okanoue burst onto the Tokyo art scene as a young woman in the 1950s when her photo collages came to the attention of Shuzo Takiguchi, a leading figure in Japan's Surrealism movement. Although Okanoue's work features the fantastic imagery and incongruous juxtapositions that characterize Surrealism, the similarities were accidental: at the time, she knew nothing of the international effort to liberate the imagination by tapping the unconscious mind, or indeed that collage was an established medium already used for decades by avant-garde artists in Europe. Okanoue hit upon photo collage as a means of self-expression independently, through her own explorations with scissors, glue and images clipped from imported magazines. more...

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image image Breaking the Mold: Unique Images from the Days of Edo
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J.M. Hammond
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Mavericks, by definition, don't easily fit into categories, even if mainstream Japanese art history is written around schools and styles. During the Edo period (1603-1867), in particular, a number of artists known for their eccentric personal styles made a name for themselves, but in subsequent eras were overlooked -- until fairly recently. more...

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image image A Cosmos in the Trivial: Hiroko Tsuchida at the Hiratsuka Museum of Art
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Alan Gleason
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Hiroko Tsuchida describes her work as conceptual art, but that is not how it first struck me. Her choice of materials and her methods of making art from them are so impactful that one need not know what they represent, or what message they are meant to convey, to appreciate them on a visceral level. So I was surprised to find, after viewing Where's a will, there's a way, her current exhibition at the Hiratsuka Museum of Art, that she had written detailed, often very poetic, descriptions of what each work was about. more...

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Recent Articles
FOCUS
The Accidental Surrealist: Toshiko Okanoue
Alice Gordenker
1 March 2019
FOCUS
Breaking the Mold: Unique Images from the Days of Edo
J.M. Hammond
1 March 2019
HERE/THERE
A Cosmos in the Trivial: Hiroko Tsuchida at the Hiratsuka Museum of Art
Alan Gleason
1 March 2019
PICKS
Impossible Architecture: Another History of Architecture
1 March 2019
FOCUS
The Poesy of Leiko Ikemura, at National Art Center, Tokyo
Susan Rogers Chikuba
1 February 2019
FOCUS
The Wanderer: Taiji Matsue's Roaming Camera
Christopher Stephens
1 February 2019
HERE/THERE
A Tree as Lovely as a Poem: Masao Yamamoto's Bonsai Photographs
Alan Gleason
1 February 2019
PICKS
A Thousand Wonders of Japanese Technology: A brief 150 year history of Japanese modernization
1 February 2019
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