• SHARE

In an Aug. 31, 1923, edition of the Shin-aichi newspaper, a clipping shows a photo of artists milling around paintings propped up against a tree in Tokyo’s Ueno Park. Another image in the previous day’s Asahi Graph shows a girl looking over an apparently abstract painting, above which is a label that reads “Mavo.” These scenes sound tranquil, but in fact they depict the immediate aftermath of artistic anarchy.

Takamizawa Michinao, a member of the art group Mavo, had just sent rocks sailing through the glass ceiling of an exhibition hall displaying artworks chosen by Nika-kai (The Second Society), a Western-style painting organization established from 1914 in opposition to the conservatism of the governmental Bunten (Ministry of Education Exhibition) — and the jury members had hastened outside to ascertain the culprits.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.

SUBSCRIBE NOW

PHOTO GALLERY (CLICK TO ENLARGE)