Wednesday, July 15, 2009

exhibition: neoteny

Ryuataro Takahashi with Hiroki Tashiro sculpture Entenka 

Neoteny Japan: Contemporary Artists after 1990s from Takahashi Collection is a traveling exhibition showing 80 works from private collection of Ryutaro Takahashi, a psychiatrist who began acquiring the artworks in early 90s. and who managed to collect over 1,500 pieces of contemporary Japanese art up to date. For comparison Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo owns collection of 4,000 works which covers a period four times as long and The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, 5,000 pieces. But it is about comparison as Dr. Takahashi has major works by just about every recognized Japanese artist.

However the exhibition seems to concentrate on infantilisation of Japanese society and art as the title suggest* and present childlike sensibility, otaku motifs, introversion and excess with few exceptions like Makoto Aida's A Picture of an Air Raid on New York City (War Picture Returns), already a contemporary classic and few other. Read more

* the term neoteny refers to retention of juvenile physical characteristics well into maturity and well describes the recent infantilisation of Japanese society.

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