National

Avant-garde artist, writer Genpei Akasegawa dies

GENPEI AKASEGAWA

Avant-garde artist Genpei Akasegawa died of blood poisoning at a Tokyo hospital Sunday morning. He was 77.

Born Katsuhiko Akasegawa in Yokohama, he attended Musashino Art School, now Musashino Art University, in Tokyo, but dropped out before graduating.

He started exhibiting at shows in the late 1950s and drew attention after collaborating with groups such as the Neo Dadaism Organizers in 1960 and the Hi Red Center in 1963.

In 1965, Akasegawa was indicted on charges of forging currency for a work that used a real-size copy of a ¥1,000 bill. It led to a high-profile trial, in which he was convicted.

He wrote under the pen name Katsuhiko Otsuji, releasing novels and other works. He won the prestigious Akutagawa literary prize in 1981.

His elder brother, Shun Akasegawa, is a winner of the Naoki literary award.

Genpei Akasegawa worked with architect Terunobu Fujimori in a group called the Roadway Observation Society, or the Rojo Society, which studies everyday objects and scenes found on the street.

JIJI