Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Off Museum! Performance Art That Turned the Street, Midori Yoshimoto

Performance art was an integral part of the urban fabric of Tokyo in the late 1960s. The so-called angura, the Japanese abbreviation for ‘underground’ culture or subculture, which mainly referred to film and theatre, was in full bloom. Most notably, Tenjô Sajiki Theatre, founded by the playwright and film director Terayama Shûji in 1967, and Red Tent, founded by Kara Jûrô also in 1967, ruled the underground world by presenting anti-authoritarian plays full of political commentaries and sexual perversions. The butoh dance, pioneered by Hijikata Tatsumi in the late 1950s, sometimes spilled out onto streets from dance halls. Students’ riots were ubiquitous as well, often inciting more physically violent responses from the state.

Street performances, however, were introduced earlier in the 1960s by artists and groups, who are often categorised under Anti-Art, such as the collectives Neo Dada (originally known as Neo Dadaism Organizer; active 1960) and Zero Jigen (Zero Dimension; active 1962-1972). In the beginning of Anti-Art, performances were often by-products of artists’ non-conventional art-making processes in their rebellion against the artistic institutions. Gradually, performance art became an autonomous artistic expression. This emergence of performance art as the primary means of expression for vanguard artists occurred around 1964. A benchmark in this aesthetic turning point was a group exhibition and outdoor performances entitled Off Museum. The recently unearthed film, Aru wakamono-tachi (Some Young People), created by Nagano Chiaki for the Nippon Television Broadcasting in 1964, documents the performance portion of Off Museum, which had been long forgotten in Japanese art history. The film vividly portrays such artists and collectives as Yoko Ono, Zero Dimension, and Kankô Geijutsu Kenkyûjo (Sightseeing Art Research Institute; active 1964-1966). This article will examine Some Young People in depth for the first time, in order to elucidate the state and role of performance art in the socio-political landscape of Japan midst of the nation’s highest economic growth after World War Two. [1]

Rebellion in the Museum and Emergence of Performance Art in Japan

In the latter half of the 1950s, the members of the avant-garde collectives Gutai Bijutsu Kyôkai (Gutai Art Association; active 1954-1972) and Kyûshû-ha (literally, ‘Kyûshû School,’ active 1957-1970) frequently moved outdoors to present their multimedia installations and performances in rejection of the confined environment of museums and galleries. As early as 1956, the Gutai artists set up their first outdoor exhibition in the pine forest along the Ashiya River near the city of Kôbe. The exhibition included many interactive art works such as Please Walk on Top by Shimamoto Shôzô, which invited passers-by to walk over the rickety passage made of wooden boxes. [2] Gutai soon ventured to organise ‘Gutai Art on Stage,’ a program of spectacular performances including Butaifuku (Stage Costume) by Tanaka Atsuko. In 1957, a Kyûshû-based artists’ collective, Kyûshû-ha displayed their paintings on the street in front of the police headquarters in the city of Fukuoka and marched in handmade costumes on the downtown streets to advertise their group exhibition. [3]

While Gutai was characterised by the optimistic progressivism and aestheticism of the 1950s, many vanguard collectives that followed Gutai purged such positive attitude toward art altogether. This shift was saliently articulated by critic Tôno Yoshiaki, who introduced the term ‘Anti-Art’ (Han-geijutsu). He applied this term, which he learned from American art criticism while he travelled in Europe and the United States in 1960, to describe a work by Kudô Tetsumi included in the Twelfth Yomiuri Independent Exhibition (Tôno, 1986: 329). Kudô’s work was representative of the assemblages of junk materials, which became increasingly visible in various exhibitions around 1960. Similarly, Akasegawa Genpei, then a member of Neo Dada, created assemblages consisting of ‘unobtrusive articles of everyday life’ that were found in mountains of rubbish (see Clark, 1985: 87). These assemblages revealed the dark side of the Japanese industrial development after the war. The term Anti-Art was soon expanded to include artists’ performances that further challenged the distinctions between art and non-art, art and life. Anarchic rebellions and destructive performances became hallmark activities of such avant-garde collectives as Kyûshû-ha, Neo Dada, Group Ongaku (active 1960-1961), and Hi Red Center (active 1963-1964), all of which emerged around 1960 and are art-historically categorised under the label of Anti-Art. Still, it should be noted that such artists as Ushio Shinohara, another member of Neo Dada, rejected the term, insisting that their intention was not to go against art, but to expand the traditional notion of art (Shinohara, 1968: 61).

The emergence of these Anti-Art groups was partly informed by the negative effects that the American occupation of Japan began to have by the late 1950s. In the span of less than a decade, Japan had to shed its imperialist-military past, immersing itself in the democracy and consumerism imposed by the occupier. Japanese artists active in the early 1960s grew up in a society that felt ambivalent about its fate, torn between its past and future, between the old and new moral values. The tension caused by such a schism eventually led a young generation to revolt against Japan’s rearmament under America’s Cold War strategy. When Japan renewed the U.S.-Japan Security Treaty (Nichi-bei anzen hoshô jôyaku) known as Ampo in 1960, tens of thousands of people demonstrated around the National Diet building in Tokyo. This incident resulted in hundreds of injured participants, arrests, and one death. Several members of Neo Dada were present at the riot although they did not actively participate in it. [4] The student movement against the treaty continued and converged with the anti-war movement, resulting in another riot in October 1968 which took place in more than several cities throughout Japan. Many avant-garde artists embraced the interventional strategies and anarchistic spirit of the student movement. This added a social dimension to their art, as it was pushed into the public arena.

Street performances gained momentum in the early 1960s with the emergence of several Anti-Art collectives. Yoshimura Masunobu, the leader of Neo Dada, walked around busy streets of the Ginza shopping district in Tokyo, wrapping himself with flyers advertising the group’s first and third exhibitions in 1960. Another prominent member of Neo Dada, Shinohara demonstrated his Boxing Painting outdoors in front of cameramen for popular magazines. In order to engage the public, artists often employed physical expression. This became a defining feature of postwar Japanese avant-garde art. [5] Art historian Kristine Stiles considered these artists’ assertive use of the body as ‘a response to the threatened ontological condition of life itself in the aftermath of the Holocaust and the advent of the atomic age’ (Styles, 1998: 228). Especially in Japan, the country that saw the world’s first atomic bombs exterminate hundreds of thousands of its people in a matter of seconds, philosophical concerns about human existence strongly affected artists’ works. Their physical expressions may, indeed, have stemmed from their need to reclaim the presence of the living human body. Rather than embracing the modernist notion of the autonomy of the art object, they instead sought artistic meaning in the performative dimension of art making—in the process itself or the viewer’s interaction with art works. In order to augment this performative dimension, artists started to perform in the public and to create interactive works that induced viewer’s reactions.

1964 – A Turning Point

The year 1964 marks a turning point for both Japanese society and its avant-garde art, albeit with contrasting effects. On the one hand, the Tokyo Olympic Games held in October that year demonstrated to the world Japan’s miraculous recovery from the devastating defeat in World War Two and its progress in economy and culture. On the other hand, earlier in January the Yomiuri newspaper announced its discontinuation of the Yomiuri Independent Exhibition. Abbreviated as Anpan, this jury-free annual exhibition was inaugurated in 1949 under the sponsorship of the nationwide Yomiuri newspaper; it was since held at the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Art. In the late 1950s and the early 1960s, Anpan served as a hotbed of radical artistic experimentation which challenged every established notion of art by displaying trashy or perishable materials, dangerous objects, overtly sexual contents, and even artists’ bodies under the name of art. The earliest recorded performance in Anpan was by Kojima Nobuaki in 1961, who repeated crouching and standing up inside a drum can (see Hariu, 1962: 150). During the 1963 Anpan, Zero Dimension presented Netai Gishiki (Ritual of sleeping body),in which about twenty members of the group looked at an erotic shunga print attached to the ceiling, while lying on futon mattresses laid on the floor and covered with ‘nipple sculptures.’

[Figure 1]Zero Dimension, Netai Gishiki (Ritual of sleeping body) at the Yomiuri Independent Exhibition, 1963, Tokyo, photo courtesy Katô Yoshihiro.

The tension between the artists and the concerned museum administrators became so serious that the Yomiuri decided to cancel the exhibition in the following year.

The loss of this annual exhibition, which became such an indispensable part of the life of many younger artists, was a great shock to them, for their outlet of creativity was quite limited. Akasegawa Genpei, a member of Neo Dada as well as Hi Red Center, lamented that ‘it was as if the only open window was closed. Other windows were all closed to begin with’ (Akasegawa, 1994: 10). For avant-garde artists who were dependent on Anpan, its termination meant more than just the loss of exhibition space. The incident symbolised the increase of political pressure against dissident artists who were often seen equal to social agitators or terrorists. Hi Red Center, which consisted of Akasegawa and two other artists, maintained their anonymity by often wearing sunglasses in order to avoid direct confrontations with the public authority. In their event, The Movement to Promote Reorganization and Cleaning of the Metropolitan Area (commonly known as Cleaning Event), for example, the members and friends of Hi Red Center used such inefficient tools as cotton balls with ammonia or toothbrushes to clean a street in the business district in Tokyo.

It was intended to satirise the Tokyo metropolitan government’s hasty beautification efforts before the Tokyo Olympic Games. As Hi Red Center staged more events in the public, the anti-authoritarian character of its performances naturally led to serious conflicts with the police and court. Because of his works that appropriated the design of the one-thousand-yen note, Akasegawa was investigated for currency fraud in 1964 and subsequently found guilty by a court of law. [6] These incidents altogether signalled that a heated phase in Japanese avant-garde art was perhaps over.

Some Young People Going Off Museum

Produced in the middle of this highly complex socio-political milieu, the film Some Young People by Nagano Chiaki offers insights into the ways in which avant-garde artists and collectives negotiated their artistic urge and their need to relate to the public. Produced right before the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, the film highlights the ‘superficial peace and happy atmosphere’ brought by Japan’s remarkable postwar economic boost by depicting a typical work day of tensof thousands commuters in Tokyo at different times of the day.

[Figure 2]. Commuters crossing a busy intersection in Tokyo, scene from Nagano Chiaki, Some Young People, 1964.

The collectivism, punctuality, and regularity of the Japanese workers are comically emphasised by Nagano’s inventive use of the bird’s eye view and occasional fast forwarding. His visual strategy was enhanced by the repeated insertion as background music of the popular hit song, Shiawase nara te o tatakou (Japanese version of If you’re happy and you know it clap your hands), by Sakamoto Kyû, known in the West for Sukiyaki Song. Aired as a prime time television series entitled ‘Nonfiction Theater’ on the Nippon Television channel on October 4, 1964, this film is filled with anti-institutional, subversive messages from the young artists who detested the shallow everyday happiness and attempted to disrupt it by their guerrilla performances. The first narration, which introduces these artists as ‘some young people today’ who ‘resist the happy myth,’ indicates a somewhat critical tone of the director’s view (Some Young People, 2005: 99). It should be noted that Nagano’s initial cut was rejected by the producer of the series due to its original crude documentary style and cynical commentary on society. It took the director more than a month to persuade the sceptical producer. In the end, he had to make an artistic compromise, adding the populist introduction to tone down the overall rebellious tenet (Nagano, 2005).

Central to the concept of the film was Off Museum, a weeklong series of outdoor performances and an indoor exhibition organised by Shinohara in late June the same year in Tokyo. It was one of the early reactions by artists to invent alternatives to the discontinued Yomiuri Independent Exhibition. The indoor component of Off Museum was held at Tsubaki Kindai Gallery, which was primarily a rental art space. Shinohara collected fees from over thirty artists to rent the gallery located in the basement of an office building in Ginza. The exhibition included many unconventional art works, such as a kinetic sculpture by Tanaka Shintarô similar to the ones shown in the film and live rabbits released by Shigeko Kubota (Shinohara, 2004). The idea of the Off Museum, however, was more directly represented by its outdoor components undertaken individually by the participating artists on the Tama riverbank, at a café, and on the streets of Ginza. While the exhibition portion was documented by photographs and reviewed in the art magazine Bijutsu Journal, the performance portion was recorded only in Nagano’s film. Given the fact that early Japanese performance art was mostly documented by photographs and witness accounts, Some Young People is one of few remaining filmic records of Japanese performance art. The film brings to light the forgotten performances by Ono, Shinohara and other Neo Dada members, Zero Dimension, and Sightseeing Art Research Institute, by weaving individually recorded scenes into a coherent narrative.

Perhaps the most subversive among various performances in the film are those by Zero Dimension. Led by Katô Yoshihiro and Iwata Shin’ichi, about eight members of the collective suddenly collapse onto the street of the Ginza and start crawling. They sometimes tangle with each other and roll around. Passers-by, including a driver in a passing car, stop and watch this out-of-the-ordinary performance by anonymous young men.

[Figure 3] Zero Dimension, Crawling Ritual, Ginza, Tokyo, scene from Nagano Chiaki, Some Young People, 1964.

Since January 1963, Zero Dimension had been performing the so-called Haizuri Gishiki, or Crawling Ritual, on the streets of Tokyo and Nagoya. The first Crawling Ritual was performed as an event to inaugurate Zero Dimension’s first exhibition ‘Insanity/Nonsense’ at the Aichi Prefectural Art Museum in Nagoya, the group’s birthplace. About thirty men and women dressed in formal attire slowly crawled their way from the downtown Sakaemachi to the museum. Claiming to be ‘cultural terrorists,’ Zero Dimension sought to bring ‘a human being back to zero or to its infant stage’ (Kuro, 2003: 35). In fact, the audience may have considered their crawling as no more than a child’s play by not so serious adults. At the same time, hofuku zenshin or ‘crawling forward,’ could also recall one of the basic manoeuvres of foot soldiers. According to Katô, set against the peaceful atmosphere of postwar Japanese society, ‘animalistic or what are usually considered immoral, filthy, and grotesque actions may seem sublime in contradiction’ and ‘(t)hose who have two legs may feel a shock’ and ‘feel fearful or suspicious of the fact that they have been living everyday life so absent-mindedly in such a peaceful atmosphere’ (Katô in Some Young People, 2005: 100). In Nagano’s film, the passers-by who paused to observe the ritual in Ginza, indeed seem to be in a state of shock, unable to comprehend what is going before their eyes.

[Figure 4] The audience watching Zero Dimension’s crawling, scene from Nagano Chiaki, Some Young People, 1964. Their faces convey both curiosity and anxiety.

Zero Dimension’s Crawling Ritual would soon be replaced with naked marching in the city. Regarding the numerous nude rituals the collective presented, Katô comments as follows:

When the naked mass started to run, the entire city in pursuit of high economic growth — cars, people and buildings — gradually stopped its moves like a slow-motion movie, startled at the sight of the beautiful human bodies. My body looked straight into those spectators. When we ran, everything in the city also exposed its naked face. In fact, the truth is, ‘Zero Jigen’ became ‘naked’ because of its urge to see the real side of Tokyo in those very ‘eyes’ of the ‘city of Tokyo’ staring at our bodies. It was the urge to ‘sightsee’ the true side of Tokyo, like watching Ginza being instantly stripped bare of its outer mask. (Katô in Kuroda, 2003: 32).

Even though the Crawling Ritual in the film was performed clothed, the above passages seem to portray perfectly its rationale. If the performers become the objects of spectators’ gaze, the spectators themselves also become the objects of the gaze, observed by the performers and those who document the event. Voyeurism cuts both ways.

Later in the film, perhaps the same members of Zero Dimension perform another ritual on the Tama riverbank.

[Figure 5] Zero Dimension climbing a net construction on the Tama riverbank, scene from Nagano Chiaki, Some Young People, 1964.

Katô and another member, naked and hung from bamboo poles by their wrists and ankles, are carried down to the riverbank. The two naked men, now released from the poles, climb up a white net that was hung from the overpass, and others follow them. Festooned with toilet papers, balloons, and cloth bags, this net symbolises a passage to a universe that ‘has never really before been imagined, and cannot be measured by usual human perception’ (Katô in Some Young People, 2005: 102). Katô, naked except for a hat and sunglasses, carries on his back a large penis-like object called ‘Automatic Masturbation Machine,’ which he also used in other rituals. The act of climbing the net, then, may have a sexual connotation of reaching ecstasy. It is telling that Katô would later become preoccupied with the effects of LSD through a ‘baptism’ by the Grateful Dead and explore the dream world in-depth for over three decades. The ritual on the riverbank has been specially arranged for the film and is not part of Zero Dimension’s usual repertoire. Compared with the Crawling Ritual, it seems to be more theatrical and self-absorbed and have less interaction with viewers.

Similarly theatrical is a performance by Nakamura Hiroshi and Tateishi Kôichi (later renamed Tiger Tateishi) of the Sightseeing Art Research Institute, in which they eat five large round doughnuts forming the Olympics’ five rings on a table set up in front of the Olympic stadium in Yoyogi, Tokyo. [7]

[Figure 6] Nakamura Hiroshi and Tateishi Kôichi of the Sightseeing Research Institute eat donuts in front of the Olympic Stadium, Tokyo, scene from Nagano Chiaki, Some Young People, 1964.

Their intent act of eating illuminates the fact that the Olympic Games are a ‘sightseeing site’ consisting of such daily human activities as ‘eating.’ Shown intermittently during their performance are three paintings by Nakamura and Tateishi, two of which depict the Olympic Games as the subject. In Nakamura’s Seika senri kô (The Olympic torch runs thousands of miles), the Olympic torch with legs runs from right to left in the middle horizon while Zero fighter jets from World War Two draw five rings in the sky which is covered by a huge Japanese national flag. In contrast, Tateishi’s Aishû ressha (Sorrowful train) does not contain obvious references to the Olympic Games, except for the singer Minami Haruo, who’s Tokyo Gorin Ondo (Tokyo Olympic Song) was extremely popular then. [8] This two-man duo had just started their collaboration in 1964 through a series of exhibitions, including the four at Naiqua Gallery in Shinbashi, Tokyo. Active for about four years from 1963, Naiqua Gallery was a small room in the second floor of an office building originally rented as an office of internal medicine, or naika in Japanese. While waiting for his medical license, Miyata Kunio offered his office space to his artist friends, including those in Nagano’s film. Naiqua Gallery became one of the most active art spaces after Anpan. In addition to these exhibitions, Nakamura and Tateishi carried large paintings above their shoulders against the flow of human traffic in a busy intersection.

They sought to revive the validity of painting by placing their works in the middle of daily life. Although the Sightseeing Art Research Institute focused its creative effort on painting, not on performance art, the pair specially conceived and staged the doughnut-eating action for the film (Nakamura, 2005).

Also staged on the riverbank for the film was the act of spraying ink at paintings and burning them by Shinohara and others.

[Figure 7] Ushio Shinohara burns his painting on the Tama riverbank, scene from Nagano Chiaki, Some Young People, 1964.

Because of the lack of storage space, young artists routinely burnt their paintings after exhibitions; however, using firework torches to do so was clearly intended as a spectacle. Moreover, since they usually had no collector or gallery to buy their works, Shinohara and others had no intention of creating a permanent work of art. Attention from the mass media and the general public was the only reward for his action painting and destructive performances (Shinohara, 2004). By 1964, Shinohara had pushed his concept of art further and drawn a conclusion that reality is more shocking to people than art (Shinohara in Some Young People, 2005: 100-1). Such a realisation prompted him to devise the idea of ‘Imitation Art’ in defiance of artistic creativity: all he had to do was appropriate works by such famous artists as Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg.

If Shinohara’s destructive performances and ‘Imitation Art’ are prime examples of Anti-Art that rebelled against the accepted canon of art, Yoko Ono’s more quiet and inconspicuous expressions remained rather invisible to the general public. At the beginning of Nagano’s film, Ono leaves chrysanthemum flowers, one by one, on a traffic sign, on a street, and on a parked motorcycle seat, hoping for passers-by to take notice of them.

[Figure 8] Yoko Ono, Flower Event, Ginza, Tokyo, scene from Nagano Chiaki, Some Young People, 1964.

Nobody seems to take notice of the flowers—including a girl who mysteriously walks back to step on one. The flowers blend into the cityscape, with their beauty appreciated only in passing. Ono states in the film, ‘If everybody were to become an artist, what we call ‘Art’ will disappear’ (Ono in Some Young People, 2005: 100). Preceding the Flower Children of the late 1960s, Ono’s Flower Event was presented as intentionally inconspicuous, to make a point of art disappearing into mundane life. As Ono recalls in her memoir, she started various events including Flower Event in late 1962 and 1963, the period in which she felt extremely isolated from her first husband, the very successful composer Ichiyanagi Toshi, as well as Japanese society (Ono, 1986: 28). Ono’s events may have initially been born as a way to cope with her loneliness. By 1964, however, she had already recovered from her depression thanks to her remarriage to Tony Cox and the birth of their daughter, and frequently presented her events within avant-garde artists’ circle which evolved around Naiqua Gallery.

Naiqua Gallery became one of the venues for Ono’s 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., later called Morning Event. In the film by Nagano, the version staged at the Tama riverbank is recorded.

[Figure 9] Yoko Ono, Morning Event on the Tama riverbank scene from Nagano Chiaki, Some Young People, 1964.

There, Ono and Cox sell to passers-by glass shards as different mornings of the past, present, and future. People pay whatever they wish for the mornings they pick. In a notice she made later regarding the event, Ono instructs that ‘you can see the sky though it. Also wear gloves when you handle so you will not hurt your fingers’ (Ono, 2000: 27). By introducing such a poetic event to the cycle of everyday life, Ono hoped that people would slow down the pace of their lives. She states in the film: ‘by actively inserting such a useless act, or other useless things, into everyday life, perhaps I can delay culture, so to speak’ (Ono in Some Young People, 2005: 102). This radical act of ‘delaying our culture’ is exemplified by another event that Ono conceived around the same time and printed in her self-published book Grapefruit. Tokei no e (Painting for Clocks) translates as follows: ‘Collect as many clocks as possible in the city and put them out of order by your own order or no order’ (Ono, 1964). In this piece, Ono’s nonconformist, revolutionary sentiment is more pronounced. Quiet and contemplative, yet transformative and subversive, Ono’s performances form a curious contrast to those by her male counterparts in the film.


At the time when artists lacked public opportunities to present their works, Nagano Chiaki’s Some Young People offered a rare occasion for them to stage their art in the manner they liked. As a result, the film has become a valuable documentation of this crucial moment of activism through which art was dramatically enmeshed in the urban fabric of Tokyo. While Shinohara emphasised the ephemeral nature of art by literally destroying it, others used ephemerality as a social critique. Still feeling frustrated with the situation many artists, including Ono, left Japan for more opportunities abroad throughout the 1960s. [9] At the same time, the more subversive ritualistic collectives, such as Zero Dimension, pushed their social critique to the extreme, in their explosive opposition against the Japan World Exposition ’70 (Katô, 1969: 113-21). The year 1964 saw a curious convergence of artistic energy in Tokyo that spilled out of the Yomiuri Independent Exhibition and was subsequently diverted into distinctively unique artistic directions.


[1] The shorter version of this paper was delivered at the First PoNJA-GenKon (Post-1945 Japanese Art Discussion Group) Symposium, held at Yale University on April 22-23, 2005. I would like to thank Dr. Reiko Tomii for offering valuable comments and edits in revising this paper.

The whereabouts of Some Young People was long unknown, but uncovered by PoNJA GenKon’s Yoko Ono Working Group (Midori Yoshimoto, Midori Yamamura, Kevin Concannon, and Reiko Tomii) with Miyata Yuka in 2004. I would also like to acknowledge the director Nagano Chiaki, the artists Katô Yoshihiro, Nakamura Hiroshi, Yoko Ono, Ushio Shinohara, and Tanaka Shintarô for their kind cooperation with my research and permission to publish some of the film stills here. I am also indebted to Sasaki Kazuhiro of the Nippon Television and Video, Inc. for helping me obtain the access to the film and the permission to publish the transcript and film stills. For more information on this film, director, and my English translation, see (Some Young People, 2005).

[2] For the documentary photographs of this exhibition including Shimamoto’s work, see Hirai (2004), 40-52.

[3] For the photograph of Kyûshû-ha marching on the main street of Fukuoka, see Yoshimoto (2005), 25.

[4] For more information see (Munroe, 1994: 150–52).

[5] See for example (Osaki, 1998: 121–57). Osaki’s conclusion that ‘physical and site-specific works were the mainstream postwar art in Japan’ is misleading since those works still existed within the limited avant-garde art circles.

[6] For details about Akasegawa’s 1,000-yen note incident in English, see Nam June Paik, ‘To Catch Up or Not to Catch Up with the West: Hijikata and Hi Red Center,’ in Munroe, Japanese Art after 1945, 80–81; Reiko Tomii, ‘Concerning the Institution of Art: Conceptualism in Japan,’ in Jane Farver, et al., Global Conceptualism: Points of Origin, 1950s–1980s, (Queens, N.Y.: Queens Museum of Art, 1999), 20–22; and Reiko Tomii, ‘State vs. (Anti-) Art: Model 1,000-Yen Note Incident by Akasegawa Genpei and Company,’ Positions 10, no. 1 (2002): 141-72.

[7] The Japanese word kankô for ‘sightseeing’ literally means ‘seeing light.’ Miyata Yuka, interview with Nakamura Hiroshi, September 6, 1999, in Miyata, ‘Naika datta, garô datta—futatabi—‘Naika garô—’60 nendai no zen’ei’ ten kaisai made’ (It was an office of internal medicine as well as a gallery—until the organization of the exhibition ‘Naiqua Gallery—Avant-Garde of the 1960s’), Aida no. 64 (April 20, 2001), 24.

[8] In his letter to the author, April 13, 2005, Nakamura identified both paintings to be from 1964 and now in the collection of the Takamatsu City Museum of Art. The author recently identified the third painting as Tateishi’s Nanji, Ookuno tashatachi (Thee, many others), from 1964, now in the collection of the Chiba City Museum of Art.

[9] Former members of Neo Dada who moved to New York City included: Shûsaku Arakawa in 1961, Yoshimura Masunobu and Hiraoka Hiroko in 1962, Masuzawa Kinpei in 1963, Kinoshita Shin and Toyoshima Sôroku in 1964, Tanabe Santarô in 1966, and Ushio Shinohara in 1969.

[31] Katô Yoshihiro, ‘Erosu no Banpaku hakai — Banpaku Hakai Kyôtô zenra gishiki—Futô taiho no jittai’ (Destruction in eros of the Expo ’70 — The nude ritual by the Anti-Expo Joint-Struggle group—The actual account of the arrest), Design Hihyô,no. 10 (October 1969), 113-21.


Akasegawa Genpei. Hangeijutsu Anpan (Anti-Art Independent Exhibitions) (Tokyo: Chikuma Shobô, 1994).

Clark, John. Reconstructions: Japanese Avant-Garde Art in Japan 1945–1965 (Oxford, U.K.: Museum of Modern Art, 1985).

Hariu Ichiro. ‘Zen’ei geijutsu ni tsukaremashita’ (I grew tired of avant-garde art), Geijutsu Shinchô 13, no. 8 (August 1962): 150.

Hirai Shôichi, ed.. Gutaitte nanda?/What’s Gutai? (Tokyo: Bijutsu Shuppan-sha, 2004).

Katô Yoshihiro. ‘Erosu no Banpaku hakai — Banpaku Hakai Kyôtô zenra gishiki—Futô taiho no jittai’ (Destruction in eros of the Expo ’70 — The nude ritual by the Anti-Expo Joint-Struggle group—The actual account of the arrest), Design Hihyô,no. 10 (October 1969), 113-21.

KuroDa laiJee. (a.k.a., Kuroda Raiji), ‘The Rituals of ‘Zero Jigen’ in Urban Space,’ Я [a:r], No. 2 (2003), 32-37.

Miyata Yûka. interview with Nakamura Hiroshi, September 6, 1999, in Miyata, ‘Naika datta, garô datta—futatabi—‘Naika garô—‘60nendai no zen’ei’ ten kaisai made’ (It was an office of internal medicine as well as a gallery—until the organization of the exhibition ‘Naiqua Gallery—Avant-Garde of the 1960s’), Aida no. 64 (April 20, 2001), 24-27.

Munroe, Alexandra. Japanese Art after 1945: Scream against the Sky (New York: Abrams in association with the Japan Foundation and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, 1994).

Munroe, Alexandra and Jon Hendricks, Yes Yoko Ono (New York: Japan Society in association with Harry N. Abrams).

Nagano Chiaki. telephone interview with the author, March 6, 2005.

Nakamura Hiroshi. telephone interview with the author, March 28, 2005.

Ono Yoko. Grapefruit (Tokyo: Wunternaum Press, 1964).

Ono Yoko. ‘Waga ai, waga tousou’ (originally published in 1974) in Yoko Ono, Tada no Atashi/Just Me! (Tokyo: Kodansha, 1986).

Ono, Yoko. ‘“Notice�? for Morning Piece’ (1964), reproduced in Alexandra Munroe and Jon

Hendricks, Yes Yoko Ono (New York: Japan Society in association with Harry N. Abrams, 2000).

Osaki, Shin’ichirô. ‘Body and Place,’ in Paul Schimmel, ed., Out of Action: Between Performance and the Object, 1949-79 (Los Angeles: Museum of Contemporary Art/Thames and Hudson, 1998), 121–57.

Paik, Nam June. ‘To Catch Up or Not to Catch Up with the West: Hijikata and Hi Red Center,’ in Munroe, Japanese Art after 1945, 80–81.

Shinohara Ushio. interview with the author, October 29, 2004.

Shinohara Ushio. Zen’ei no michi (The Way of the Avant-Garde) (Tokyo: Bijutu Shuppan-sha, 1968).

Some Young People—from Nonfiction Theater: Transcript of Documentary Film Directed by Nagano Chiaki,’ transcribed, translated, and annotated by Midori Yoshimoto, in ‘1960s Japan: Art Outside the Box,’ guest-edited by Reiko Tomii, Review of Japanese Culture and Society 17 (December 2005) (Tokyo and Saitama: Jôsai University), 98-105.

Stiles, Kristine. ‘Uncorrupted Joy: International Art Actions,’ in Schimmel, ed., Out of Action between performance and the object, 1949-1979. (Los Angeles: Museum of Contemporary Art/Thames and Hudson, 1998), 227-329.

Tomii, Reiko. ‘Concerning the Institution of Art: Conceptualism in Japan,’ in Jane Farver, et al., Global Conceptualism: Points of Origin, 1950s–1980s, (Queens, N.Y.: Queens Museum of Art, 1999), 20–22

Tomii, Reiko. ‘State vs. (Anti-)Art: Model 1,000-Yen Note Incident by Akasegawa Genpei and Company,’ Positions 10, no. 1 (2002): 141-72.

Tôno, Yoshiaki. ‘Neo-Dada et anti-art,’ in Japon des avant-gardes 1910–1970 (Paris: Centre Georges Pompidou, 1986).

Yoshimoto Midori. Into Performance: Japanese Women Artists in New York (New Brunswick, N.J. and London: Rutgers University Press, 2005).

See the following URL for the full essay with illustraitions: http://www.foraysforyou.com/public/performanceparadigm/journal/issue-2/articles/off-museum-performance-art-that-turned-the-street/

No comments: