Momus shares his thoughts on curator Midori Matsui's concept of Micropop:
I arrived in Japan this May just a couple of weeks too late to see the big group show Micropop: The Door Into Summer, curated by Midori Matsui at Art Tower Mito. It included the artists Yoshitomo Nara, Tam Ochiai, Chihiro Mori, Masanori Handa, Taro Izumi, Koki Tanaka, Hiroshi Sugito, Kaoru Arima, Ryoko Aoki, Aya Takano, Mahomi Kunikata, Shimabuku, Rika Noguchi, Hiroyuki Oki and "KK", an artist who doesn't wish to reveal his or her identity. Parco published a book by Midori and others called The Age of Micropop to coincide with the show.
So what is it that these artists have in common? According to Matsui, it's "a small-scale avant-garde approach" she compares to Deleuze and Guattari's concept of "minor literature" (explained in their book "Kafka: Towards a Minor Literature"). With Kafka, that was all about making a quietly subversive niche for oneself in between all sorts of major power blocs -- the German and Czech languages, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Jewish and Gentile worlds, the major capitals of Europe and the provinces, capital and labour (don't forget that Kafka was employed at the Workers' Accident Insurance Bureau), and so on.
For me, I cannot really say for sure what transformations are occurring in the contemporary Japanese art world. Momus does offer some comparative comments on Micropop's relation to the Superflat movement years ago. He ends the article:
"Either way, it looks as though tomorrow's Asian artists will have plenty of new power blocs to push up fragile leaves between."
+ Click opera - Micropop, and what it says about Japan
Posted by on July 15, 2007 3:41 PM | Permalink