Japan Boom, 1954, New York

External Event
Saturday 8 Jun 2019 | 4pm

Japan Society New York, 333 East 47th Street New York, NY 10017

Speakers including

Dr Eugenia Bogdanova-Kummer
Sainsbury Institute

Image: Screenshot of the Japan Society website, Isamu Noguchi, Big Boy (Ookinako), 1952, Karatsu stoneware.
Collection of the Museum of Modern Art, New York, A. Conger Goodyear Fund, 20.1955.

About the Panel

More details available on the Japan Society New York website here.

In 1954, Japan had an enormous cultural impact on New York City through artists Ruth Asawa, Saburo Hasegawa, Isamu Noguchi, Kenzo Okada, ceramicist/calligrapher Rosanjin and architect Junzo Yoshimura. In this discussion, Mark Johnson (Professor and Gallery Director, San Francisco State University), Eugenia Bogdanova-Kummer (Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures), Doryun Chong (Deputy Director and Chief Curator of M+, Hong Kong), and Dakin Hart (Senior Curator, The Noguchi Museum) explore the sensational Japan Boom that occurred before the global 1960s. Moderated by Japan Society Gallery Director Yukie Kamiya.

About the Talk

The Sainsbury Institute’s Lecturer in Japanese Arts, Cultures and Heritage, Dr Eugenia Bogdanova-Kummer will be giving the following talk:

Japanese Calligraphy in New York: 1954 Japanese Calligraphy Exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art

1954 was a watershed moment in the modern history of Japanese calligraphy. For the first time works of modern Japanese calligraphers were shown at the prominent international modern art venue and displayed in the context of the most innovative contemporary art. The seminal exhibition of Japanese calligraphy at the Museum of Modern Art in New York introduced to American audiences an art form that is notoriously difficult to appreciate without the ability to read Japanese. In this talk I investigate why calligraphy was given such unprecedented visibility in the early postwar years in New York, and which impact it had on the international perception of Japanese art in the following years.

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