Tokyo 1955–1970: A New Avant-Garde

In the January 10 issue, Ian Buruma writes, “It is a common belief that Japanese are almost congenitally incapable of facing the horrors of the war they unleashed. Some of the art in MoMA’s show, Tokyo 1955–1970: A New Avant-Garde, should help to dispel that caricature. Take a look, for example, at Hamada Chimei’s rather beautiful etchings of wartime desolation: ruined Chinese villages with speared heads and body parts; a female cadaver with a stake up its vagina. This is less reportage than a kind of surrealist protest art.”

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