Japan's Post-Bubble Artists Not so 'Cute'


Kohei Nawa, PixCell-Deer #6 (2007)

Adrian Favell, UCLA professor of sociology, speaks in Yokohama, Japan at the opening of The ECHO: JAPAN NEXT, a contemporary art exhibit held at ZAIM as part of the third Yokohama Triennale.

On September 17th Adrian Favell, UCLA professor of sociology, gave a talk to help open THE ECHO: JAPAN NEXT, an art exhibit featuring the next generation of up and coming Japanese artists. The exhibit was hosted by ZAIM, a former government building turned art gallery in Yokohama City Japan. Favell, who is currently writing a book on Japanese Contemporary Art since the 1990s, reviewed the exhibition and gave listeners his insights on where the next generation of artists is headed.

The public lecture and exhibition were part of the third Yokohama Triennale of Contemporary Art, gathering artists from around the world. Events in Yokohama will continue through October. Check the official website for more information.

Favell explains that the western perception of Japanese art as all things cute is, as he says it, "more accurately a reflection of the heady days of the breakthrough otaku/superflat generation of the 1990s- i.e., a Japan ten years out of date." Today's current artists grew up in post-bubble Japan and their works, still labeled as 'cute' by western curators, are in actuality "light years" away.

Read the full lecture.

Published: Friday, October 03, 2008