JAPANESE CUBIST BODY – MAPPING MODERN EXPERIENCE IN THE PRE-WWII JAPANESE ARTISTIC NETWORK
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The transnational flow of Cubist inspiration reached Japan in 1911 and continued to spread through numerous networks of Japanese avant-garde art scene over some decades. This article will test the idea of Cubism transgressing the dualistic paradigm of the East and the West and as such creating “a cubist body” for local, and in this case Japanese, artists to experience modernity. In terms of Asia, Japan was the only Asian country to assimilate Cubism in the 1910s, the decade in which it was being conceived in Paris. Cubism met with a mixed reception when it arrived in Asia, as it was considered as either a reminder of Western cultural superiority or a pan-cultural visual language of modernity for newly independent countries. There was also the concern that Cubism, being born of a particular cultural, philosophical and scientific background in Europe, was an imported phenomenon not suited to the Asian worldview. The Cubist or Piccassoid body, according to Bert Winther-Tamaki, provided Asian artists such as Yorozu Tetsugorō with an opportunity to violate a figurative subject to deform it in a way to express their own experience of modernity. The inhabitation of the Cubist body was a re-possession of their modern experience.
122 – 133
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