Kansai Contemporary Art of the 1980s

The contemporary art of the 1980s saw a reversal from the austere tendencies of the preceding 1970s to the blossoming of rich artistic expression. Narrativity and concrete images were resurrected, and a variety of expressive vocabularies leading to the present day were created. These included the varied development of installations wherein the entire exhibition space was turned into a work of art, free citation from past contexts, and more.
In the Kansai region, fresh works from young artists appeared on the scene all at once, demonstrating their momentum, and expressions such as “Kansai New Wave” and contemporary art being “high in the West and low in the East” [of Japan] were also introduced. At the time, artists energetically held solo and group exhibitions at galleries throughout the Kyoto, Osaka, and Kobe areas. Even in a limited region such as Kansai, there were truly diverse movements.
“Art Now” was one of the stages for these. “Art Now” was a series of exhibitions introducing Kansai contemporary art held from 1975 onwards at the Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Contemporary Art (the predecessor to the current Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art). These exhibitions were a successor to the “Asahi = Art Now” exhibitions held in 1973 at the Umeda Museum of Contemporary Art (Osaka).
In the 1980s, a focus was placed on younger artists, strengthening its character as a gateway to success. Large works were lined up in competition with one another in exhibition rooms with the partitions removed. The current exhibition is being held at a turning point marking 20 years since the Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Contemporary Art succeeded the Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Contemporary Art. Approximately 50 pieces from 36 artists centering on works or artists from “Art Now” show us a cross section of the new trends in Kansai in the 1980s and consider the significance of these in the current day.

Tamamè Akamatsu + Yasumasa Morimura Yasuto Asahina Tadahiko Ikegaki Tomoaki Ishihara Chu Enoki Miwa Kawai(Tanaka) Yoshimi Okuda Keiju Kawashima Yoshihisa Kitatsuji Yoshio Kitayama Takao Kurioka KOSUGI+ANDO (Kosugi Mihoko, Ando Yasuhiko) Yuji Konishi Tomoko Sugiyama Toeko Tatsuno Etsuko Tajima TRIO Akio Nakatani Tamako Nakanishi Manabu Nakanishi Kodai Nakahara Hiroaki Hamada Kaname Harada Noriyasu Fukushima Hiroshi Fuji Noriyasu Fukushima Sadaharu Horio Shiro Matsui Chie Matsui Naoki Matsuo Yasumasa Morimura Itsuko Mimura Sumaco Yasui Toru Yamasaki Yamabe Yasushi Eri Yoshihara
Hosted by
Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art and the Asahi Shimbun Company
Aided by
The Art and Culture Promotion Fund and the Pola Art Foundation, a public interest incorporated foundation
Co-sponsored by
The Ito Bunka Zaidan [Ito Cultural Foundation], a public interest incorporated foundation
With special cooperation from
The Hyogo branch of the Japan Educational Mutual Aid Association of Welfare Foundation, a public interest incorporated foundation
Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art
Exhibition page

photo by : Kiyotoshi Takashima