青幻舎 SEIGENSHA Art Publishing

青幻舎

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The 100th Anniversary of “Manifeste du Surréalisme”: Surrealism and Japan

Price:
2,700 yen (JPY)
Author(s):
Hayami Yutaka (Mie Prefectural Art Museum), Hironaka Satoko (Itabashi Art Museum), and Shimizu Tomoyo (Museum of Kyoto)
Language(s):
Japanese and English
Size:
247 × 182 × 23 mm, 780 g
Pages:
304
Binding:
softcover
Release date:
20240120
ISBN:
978-4-86152-941-2 C0070

Striving to free the human spirit: the undying legacy of Surrealism.

One hundred years ago in 1924, the publication of Manifeste du surréalisme by André Breton marked the birth of one of the most widely influential art movements of the twentieth century. In Japan, Surrealism began to spread in the late 1920s, first among mostly young poets who translated and experimented with Surrealist verse, and later among painters such as Koga Harue and Fukuzawa Ichiro who became noted for their fantastical, enigmatic imagery. By the 1930s the movement had made its way beyond Tokyo to regional cities such as Kyoto, Nagoya, and Fukuoka.

That, however, was before the movement—which at its heart strove to liberate the human spirit—came up against the harsh realities of World War II. Under the militarist regime of the time, Surrealism became a target of censorship and oppression. Fukuzawa and art critic Takiguchi Shuzo were arrested, and many others were forced to keep their artistic impulses in check; as the war intensified, moreover, many young artists lost their lives in the fighting. And so it was that the Japanese Surrealist movement was cut short just as it was coming into full flower.

This book surveys Surrealism in Japan from prewar to postwar, with a focus on paintings. The works of many prewar Surrealist painters have since been lost, or nearly lost save for the few pictured in these pages; still, every effort has been made to cover as many artists as possible in order to map out the full scope of Japanese Surrealism as it has come to light in recent years.

Featured
Works by roughly ninety artists
Overviews of Japanese Surrealism in poetry, where the movement first began, and in photography, where it took on a trajectory distinct from that in painting
Coverage of Surrealist activity outside Tokyo

 

Contents
Introduction. The Importation of Surrealism
Chapter 1. The Precursors
Chapter 2. From Impact to Development
Chapter 3. The Spread of Surrealism
Chapter 4. From the Culmination to the Oppression of Surrealism
Chapter 5. Surrealism in Photography
Chapter 6. Postwar Surrealism

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