From Postwar to Postmodern,
Art in Japan 1945–1989: Primary Documents

Edited by Doryun Chong, Michio Hayashi, Kenji Kajiya, and Fumihiko Sumitomo

Book Launch and Panel Discussion: January 11, 2013

The Museum of Modern Art’s newest volume in the MoMA Primary Documents series is From Postwar to Postmodern, Art in Japan 1945–1989, a trove of primary source materials that offers a panoramic look at more than four decades of Japanese art after World War II, both as it unfolded and from the perspective of the present day. It is an invaluable critical resource for students and scholars alike, bringing together key documents, artist manifestos, and critical writings that discuss a range of artistic mediums, many of them translated into English for the first time. The collection is organized chronologically and thematically to highlight periods and works of medium-specific significance, such as the pioneering artist collectives Gutai and Hi Red Center, the influential photography periodical PROVOKE, and the emergence of video art during the 1980s. Interspersed throughout the volume are newly commissioned texts by contemporary scholars that contextualize and supplement the primary source materials. Available at MoMA stores and Distributed to the trade worldwide by Duke University Press.

The MoMA Primary Documents series makes crucial art-historical writings from regions outside the United States available in English. Other volumes in the series include Contemporary Chinese Art: Primary Documents (2010); Alfredo Boulton and His Contemporaries: Critical Dialogues in Venezuelan Art, 1912–1974 (2008); and Modern Swedish Design: Three Founding Texts (2008). Visit for more information.

“From Postwar to Postmodern reveals a bracingly innovative, multifarious, and thoroughly international cultural sphere. A nuanced survey of primary texts betrays a roiling milieu in which form and content, modernism and tradition, realism and abstraction, things (mono) and ideas (koto) were hotly debated amid a historically specific context of violence, guilt, and trauma. New ways of working—from Gutai and the Experimental Workshop’s intermedia activities to collaborations in performance, architecture, and other disciplines—informed art both within and beyond Japan. This book greatly enriches a discourse that is still unfolding today.”

—Michelle Kuo, Editor in Chief, Artforum

Book Launch: From Postwar to Postmodern, Art in Japan 1945–1989: Primary Documents
Friday, January 11, 2013, 7pm
4 West 54 Street, New York, NY
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In celebration of the publication, a panel discussion and reception will be held at MoMA with important artists and thinkers representing different generations from Japan in conversation with MoMA curators. The discussion will be moderated by Doryun Chong, Associate Curator, Department of Painting and Sculpture, MoMA/co-editor of From Postwar to Postmodern; participants will include Yasunao Tone, musician; Meiro Koizumi, artist; Kayoko Ota, Curator and Editor, OMA/AMO; Michio Hayashi, Professor, Faculty of Liberal Arts, Sophia University/co-editor of From Postwar to Postmodern; Pedro Gadanho, Curator, Department of Architecture and Design, MoMA; and Sarah Suzuki, Associate Curator, Department of Prints and Illustrated Books, MoMA.

Tickets are available at the MoMA lobby information desk, film desk, or online.

This publication is made possible by The International Council of The Museum of Modern Art in honor of its members and friends Toshio Hara, Minoru Mori, Takeo Obayashi, Yoshio Taniguchi, and Seiji Tsutsumi. Generous support is provided by Mr. and Mrs. Minoru Mori, the Asian Cultural Council, Inc., E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation, Obayashi Corporation, Obayashi Foundation, the Cowles Charitable Trust, ISE Cultural Foundation, and the Saison Foundation. Additional funding is provided by The International Council of The Museum of Modern Art members Wendy Stark Morrissey, Frances Reynolds, and Byron Meyer. From Postwar to Postmodern, Art in Japan 1945–1989: Primary Documents is published by The Museum of Modern Art in cooperation with the Japan Foundation.