Tokyo and the art scene

Utopia & Visions Concert, 1971, at Korakuen Ice Palace.
Utopia & Visions Concert, 1971, at Korakuen Ice Palace.
© Photo: E.A.T. Tokyo.

Since the 1960s, Tokyo has transformed from the capital of a war-torn nation to an international center for art and culture. The Japanese art scene experienced a dynamic revival and produced a wide variety of art forms. Some artists still drew on influences from the Japanese tradition. At the same time, however, new media technologies led to a lively exchange with the art scene in Western countries such as the USA and Germany.

Artist groups in Japan at the time included the avant-garde group Gutai, founded in 1954, whose radical ideas and artistic approaches ushered in the later performance and Conceptual art of the 1960s and 1970s. The artist movement Mono-ha, for its part, was characterized by a focus on materiality and the interaction of the work with its surroundings.

Fujiko Nakaya's work unfolds between categories and displays parallels to Japanese, as well as related currents of Process Art, Land Art, Anti-Form, and Post-Minimalism