PHOTOGRAPHIC IMAGES and MATTER: Japanese Prints of the 1970s

Gyeonggi Museum of Modern Art

Photographic Images and Matter: Japanese Prints of the 1970s focuses on print expressions from the 1970s as seen in the work of 14 artists who helped develop a print movement in the world of Japanese contemporary art.While on the one hand the period is notable as the golden age of works in which photographic images were converted into prints, the 1970s also saw the rise of a new print movement in which a strong emphasis was placed on allowing materials(matter) used in print-making, such as print blocks, paper, and ink, to speak for themselves. These subjective expressions, based on photographic images and matter, greatly expanded the print medium while also helping to shape trends in contemporary art as a whole. The exhibition is divided into two sections: “The Age of Photographic Images.” which focuses on the use of photographic images in the print medium, and “Images of Autonomous Matter,” which focuses on works that were shaped by the intentions of matter. In addition to enjoying the works in these two categories, we hope that the viewer will gain a deeper understanding of contemporary art trends of the 1970s which were triggered by the print medium. 
Part1:An Age of Photographic Expression

A native of Kumamoto. Starting with the ‘Dairy’ series of wood and silkscreen prints in 1968, Noda won the 6th Grand Prize at the Tokyo International Print Biennale that year, and went on to win prizes at biennales all around the world. He continued to produce dairy series using photographs of daily life. He is a professor emeritus at the Tokyo University of the Arts.

After studying Japanese-style painting in university, Kimura began working at an advertising agency. At the end of the ’60s, he began making assemblage-style works with a variety of photographic images from magazines and other sources. In the 1970s, he received numerous awards at biennales both in Japan and abroad, and held solo exhibitions of his work. Kimura also makes sculpture.

In the 1950s, Matsumoto began working as an ukiyo-e printer, and during this period, he also started to make his own works, which eventually developed into a career as a print artist. In the late ’60s, he produced Pop-like works, depicting pages from the newspaper in prints, and in the ’70s, he converted landscapes and photographs into series of dots. Matsumoto has received countless prizes at biennales in Japan and abroad.

In the late ’60s, Saito made plastic sculptures, and then in the ’70s, he began producing works using photographs that dealt with the theme of exploring the structure of sight. In 1976, he was awarded the International Grand Prize at the 10th International Biennial Exhibition of Prints in Tokyo. He has also received various prizes at foreign print biennales. Saito’s work frequently appears in exhibitions that examine the use of photography in art and contemporary prints.

In 1974, Kimura won a prize at the 9th International Biennial Exhibition of Prints in Tokyo for a silkscreen work depicting a photographic image of a hand holding a pencil that was printed on graph paper. He went on to explore the ambiguity between the image of things that are expressed in two dimensions and actual things, producing a wide range of experimental works. In the late ’80s, Kimura formed a group called Maxi Graphica and explored the potential of large-scale prints.

Hagiwara began his career in the ’60s as an actor in underground theatre, and later worked as a stage director and a filmmaker. In the ’70s, he began making silkscreen prints, was awarded a prize at the 10th International Biennial Exhibition of Prints in Tokyo in 1976, and showed his works in international print biennales abroad. Hagiwara’s works from this period are often included in exhibitions that focus on trends in contemporary prints.

Part2:Image of Autonomous Matter

Based on the notion that matter and people were equal, in the ’60s, Kawaguchi began creating work that dealt with the relationship between matter and people, and between various kinds of matter. In the ’70s, he imprinted rust from fragments of iron and copper on fabric and made paper that incorporated rusty nails and clamps to expand the concept of prints. He was awarded a prize at the 11th International Biennial Exhibition of Prints in Tokyo in 1979.

In the late ’60s, Yoshida became active as a Mono-ha artist, showing work in which he combined various kinds of matter. In 1970, he used silkscreening to depict photographic images, and subsequently took an active interest in printmaking while also making paintings. Yoshida’s work is frequently shown in exhibitions that reexamine contemporary art trends of the late ’60s and ’70s.

In the late ’60s, Enokura began showing works made up of places and situations in which a sense of tension was created by a physical (body) response to matter. These works were intended to affirm the existence of the self. He won a prize at the Paris Youth Biennale in 1971. Enokura began making prints in the ’70s and was awarded a prize at the 11th International Biennial Exhibition of Prints in Tokyo in 1979.

After a period in which he made Pop-like prints, Ida developed the concept of “surface is the between” in the mid-’70s, focusing primarily on prints but also working in a variety of other formats including oil painting, paper, ceramics, and bronze. Ida won a prize at the 10th International Biennial Exhibition of Prints in Tokyo in 1976 and other awards at various foreign biennales.

Based on the notion that matter and people were equal, in the ’60s, Kawaguchi began creating work that dealt with the relationship between matter and people, and between various kinds of matter. In the ’70s, he imprinted rust from fragments of iron and copper on fabric and made paper that incorporated rusty nails and clamps to expand the concept of prints. He was awarded a prize at the 11th International Biennial Exhibition of Prints in Tokyo in 1979.

In 1956, after leaving the College of Fine Arts at Seoul National University, Lee came to Japan and began studying philosophy at Nihon University. At the beginning of the ’60s, he began making art and by the end of the decade, he was creating works with matter as a subject in which he combined various materials. During this period, he also published essays and criticism, and developed theories that would in time come to be referred to as Mono-ha. Lee has been making prints since the ’70s.

While devoting himself to the poetry of Rimbaud and others, Kano began making copperplate prints in 1953. He attained prominence in the art world after holding a solo exhibition that was championed by the poet and art critic Shuzo Takiguchi. He won a prize at the 3rd International Biennial Exhibition of Prints in Tokyo in 1962 as well as other awards in various Japanese and foreign exhibitions. In addition to making intaglio prints and lithographs, Kano has produced countless oil paintings.

In the late ’20s, Ichihara wrote haiku while working at the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications. In the late ’50s, he began making monotype prints and focusing on printmaking. Gradually, he began creating prints using the uneven texture of various metal sheets that were corroded by different types of chemicals. Ichihara also produced many large-format monotype prints.

Gyeonggi Museum of Modern Art
Credits: Story

Exhibition organized by
Gyeonggi Museum of Modern Art, Gyeonggi Cultural Foundation
The Japan Foundation, Seoul

Exhibition in charge | Choi Eunjoo (Director of Gyeonggi Museum of Modern Art), Yang Wonmo, Yamasaki Hiroki(Director of The Japan Foundation, Seoul)
Curator in Charge | akizawa Kyoji(curator at Machida City Museum of Graphic Arts), Bang Choa(curator at Gyeonggi Museum of Modern Art)


Curatorial Support | Dakaeda Yastaka, Ko Eungang(The Japan Foundation, Seoul), Park Woochan, Park Bonsoo, Lee Chaeyoung, Hwang Rokjoo, Choi Kiyoung, Yoon Gahye, Kim Yoonseo, Seo Joohee, Oh Song-ah(Curatorial department at Gyeonggi Museum of Modern Art)
Programs | Hwang Rokjoo, Seo Jihyun(Curatorial department at Gyeonggi Museum of Modern Art)
PR: Bang choa, Seo Jihyun(Curatorial department at Gyeonggi Museum of Modern Art), Ko Eungang(The Japan Foundation, Seoul)
Administrative support | Lee Hyunkyung, Jung Seunghee, Lee Jihyun, Jung Sumi(Curatorial department at Gyeonggi Museum of Modern Art)
Project support| Kim Taeyong, Choi Seoyeon, Kim Youngdae, Lee Hakseong, Park Sohyun, Seong Hyungmo, Kim Hogyun, Kim Kyungmin, Jo Sujin(PR & marketing team, Gyeonggi Cultural Foundation)
Facility management | Shin wunsoo, Kim Kyeongwook, Jo Namgyu, Jo Minheung, Moon Jongwook
Docent | Park Hyejin, Yoo Suhyun, Jung Yeaji. Choi Yujin(Curatorial department at Gyeonggi Museum of Modern Art)
Exhibition space design: Gyeonggi Total Interior
PR designs | B&B design
Transport & Installation | Hansol BBK
Design | Lee Eunsol(Curatorial department at Gyeonggi Museum of Modern Art), Studio Baf

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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