Recently the West has been inundated by a steady flow of images from manga, anime, and the video games that are a key part of todays Japanese visual culture. At the same time, Japanese contemporary artists are gaining a higher profile overseas: many Westerners are already familiar with Takashi Murakamis brightly colored, cartoonlike characters, or with Junko Mizunos grotes-cute Lolita-style girls. Perhaps less familiar are the absurd fighting machines of Kenji Yanobe, the many disguises of Tomoko Sawada, or the grotesque fairytale landscapes of Tomoko Konoike. Warriors of Art features the work of forty of the latest and most relevant contemporary Japanese artists, from painters and sculptors, to photographers and performance artists, with lavish full-color spreads of their key works. Author Yumi Yamaguchi offers an insightful introduction to the main themes of each artist, and builds up a fascinating portrait of the society that has given birth to them: a Japan that still bears the scars of atomic destruction, a Japan with a penchant for the cute and the childish, a Japan whose manga and anime industries have come to dominate the world.
Warriors of Art takes its title from a phrase used to describe Taro Okamoto (1911-1996), perhaps the first truly influential contemporary artist to emerge in postwar Japan, who fought to bring modern art to a wider audience. Following in Okamotos footsteps, the forty artists featured in this book are a new generation of warriors, attacking our senses with a shocking mix of the cute, the grotesque, the sexy, and the violent, forcing us to sit up and take notice of their vision of Japan.
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From Publishers Weekly:
Yumi Yamaguchi is a Tokyo-based art critic who writes on art for a wide variety of Japanese magazines, and is the author of several books on the subject. This is the first time she has been published in English.
The world of cartoon cuteness goes horribly, surrealistically wrong again and again in this survey of 40 contemporary Japanese artists. The overriding mood is one of suffocating, inward-looking dread, expressed through an obsession with imagery drawn from manga, television, the Internet and pornography. There are hamsters in bondage, a tattooed Kewpie doll, and Lolita figures riddled with hypodermic needles. The best of these disturbing visions are presented with an audacious virtuosity. Mika Kato paints masterful and exquisitely creepy oils of doll faces, and Shintaro Miyake's elaborate installations could depict the dream lives of abandoned plush toys. The few artists who depart from the basic formula of pop surrealism are generally derivative of Western artists. Yasumasa Morimura, for example, takes staged photos of himself that are almost embarrassingly similar to Cindy Sherman's work. So what does it all mean? The text by critic Yamaguchi is not much help, offering mostly banalities. That picture of the girl being poked with all those needles? She's apparently a very contemporary reflection of a society in chaos. But it's the images themselves that make up the bulk of the book, offering a brisk, intoxicating tour through the dark side of the Japanese pop culture imagination. (June 1)
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Descripción Kodansha USA, 2007. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. book. Nº de ref. de la librería M4770030312
Descripción Kodansha USA, 2007. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. Never used!. Nº de ref. de la librería P114770030312