Conveyor of the Impossible Kansuke Yamamoto

Published by Tokyo Station Gallery, Tokyo, 2001, 319 pages (colour & b/w ill.), 21 x 14.1 cm, Japanese/English

Price: €60

Produced on the occasion of Kansuke Yamamoto: Conveyor of the Impossible, 22 August – 24 September, 2001.

Kansuke Yamamoto was a photographer and poet. He was a prominent Japanese surrealist born in Nagoya, Japan.

Yamamoto’s early experiments in collage and photomontage utilized the techniques of the Surrealists in tandem with his own artistic philosophies, beginning a lifelong dialogue in internalizing an internationally inherited art form into his own. While it is known that artists such as Man Ray, László Moholy-Nagy, Yves Tanguy and René Magritte were inspirational to Yamamoto during his artistic development, his photographic works and skills from the outset were strongly innovative and equally comparable to the European artists who he studied

This highly original work represents the socio political situation of the 1930s through a veil of whimsy, sexuality and lampoonery, signature themes in Yamamoto’s practice. By the end of the 1930s, he was leading the Nagoya avant-garde scene as an influential center in Japan. During the Pacific War and until the end of World War II artistic activities were forbidden, and it was after the war’s end that Yamamoto continued to create singular works; working in different mediums including photography, drawing, painting and poetry. – Taka Ishii gallery

#2001 #japaneseavant-garde #japanesephotography #kansukeyamamoto
Tomio Miki

Published by Galerie Tokoro, Tokyo, 1988, 86 pages, 23.5 × 29 cm, Japanese

Price: €48

Tomio Miki (1937–1978), who exhibited among a group of avant-garde, politically active artists in Tokyo in the late 1950s and early 1960s, settled in 1963 on the human ear as his primary sculptural subject for the next several years. He often depicted them individually, on a giant scale. Sometimes he combined ears with other elements, such as spoons or colored lights, or made series of them set in rows or in boxes. Miki spoke quixotically about his choice of the ear, saying that it originated in an “experience in a train, when, for no reason, I suddenly felt myself surrounded by hundreds of ears trying to assault me. This personal episode, however, wouldn’t be any precise answer to why I make ears. I can hardly say I chose the ear. More precisely, isn’t it that the ear chose me?”

#1988 #japaneseavant-garde #tomiomiki
Catalogue Raisonné Atsuko Tanaka

Published by Galleria Col, Osaka, 2015, 520 pages (b/w ill.), 12 × 19 cm, English / Japanese

Price: €200

Catalogue Raisonné of Atsuka Tanaka’s painting practice from 1957-2000

Atsuko Tanaka was a Japanese avant-garde artist best known for her Neo-Dada Electric Dress (1956), a garment made from hundreds of lightbulbs painted in primary colors. This iconic work, which she wore to exhibitions, functions as a conflation of Japanese traditional clothing with modern urbanization, bringing an unexpected and challenging interpretation to both. “I wanted to shatter stable beauty with my work,” Tanaka once said. A member of the Gutai movement, much of her work used domestic objects like lightbulbs, textiles, doorknobs, and doorbells. With these objects, the artist was able to create work about the body without a body present. She maintained a broad practice that included performance “happenings,” sculpture, and installation, while her later work focusing on two-dimensional painting, with colorful organic abstract shapes connecting circles and lines.

#2015 #atsukotanaka #japaneseavant-garde