Avant-Garde Rising: The Photographic Vanguard in Modern Japan
This publication examines the avant-garde photography movement that flourished in Japan between the 1930s and 1940s. In five chronologically arranged chapters, the book follows the new trend’s emergence in Osaka, fueled by contact with surrealist and abstract art from overseas, and its subsequent spread throughout Japan, focusing on the cities of Nagoya, Fukuoka, and Tokyo. The avant-garde movement marked a crucial moment when photography began to search for inspiration outside of painting, with poets and designers discovering photography as a viable medium and the expressive breath and imagination beginning to surge.
In addition to short text introductions and extensive essays by Jelena Stojković and Satomi Fujimura, “Avant-Garde Rising: The Photographic Vanguard in Modern Japan” offers more than 180 images of works by avant-garde figures such as Kiyoshi Koishi, Osamu Shiihara, Iwata Nakayama, Hiroshi Hamaya, Nakaji Yasui and Kansuke Yamamoto, as well as works by the foreign artists who inspired them, including Eugène Atget, Man Ray and Hans Bellmer.
“Avant-Garde Rising: The Photographic Vanguard in Modern Japan” was published to accompany the exhibition at the Tokyo Photographic Museum of the same title (May 20– August 21, 2022). All texts included in English and Japanese.