Seeking the Reality: Japanese Avant-Garde During the 1920s/30s and the Collage Technique


With the invention of the so-called 'montage' technique, the avant-garde movements at the beginning of the 20th century not only revolutionized art but they also changed the reception of art works. In the course of the 15th century a traditional way of representation and storytelling was established in European paintings by using a central perspective and a uniform conception of space. This 500 years old tradition was crashed by the Avant-Garde artists who intended to create works which did not pursue the illusionistic depiction of space but embodied reality as real as it is. For example, in his early cubistic collages Picasso added everyday objects as fragments of reality in his paintings and by doing so he destroyed the unity in the painting as something created by the subjectivity of the artists and only by him. Something very similar is happening in the automatic texts and films by the Surrealists where instead of a clear story line, sequences after sequences follow without any narrative connection. In my presentation I would like to talk about the early Avant-Garde movements in Japan during the 1920s/30s who were inspired by the European Avant-Garde. Artists such as Murayama Tomoyoshi (and the Avant-Garde group Mavo), Masahisa Kawabe, Hajime Ishimaru, Ei-Q and others explore the “montage” and “collage” technique in their works. Do they also destroy the illusionistic depiction of space and change the narrative unity?

Author Information
Olga Isaeva, University Bonn, Germany

Paper Information
Conference: ACAH2017
Stream: Humanities - Other Humanities

This paper is part of the ACAH2017 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon