METHOD  NO. 32  MAR 1, 2004

Email-Bulletin "METHOD" is a free monthly on Method Art,
being published by Group METHOD in Japan, Nakazawa Hideki
(artist) + Matsui Shigeru (poet) + Miwa Masahiro (composer).
Manifestos of Methodicism:


History of Following the Western Art: Japan
by Nakazawa Hideki, artist

      Assuming that Japanese contemporary art history is
nothing but "History of Following the Western Art: Japan*,"
this writer thinks that outline of that can be given as
[Before World War II] --- Fauvism was imported and it
prevailed, being called "Japanese-Fashion Fauve," etc.
Avant-garde art was also imported in the Taisho Era (c1920).
[During World War II] --- The pictures of war had two
styles; one was Japanese style paintings, the other was
Western realistic paintings.
[Just After World War II] --- Several exhibitions named
"Masterpieces of Western Painting" were held one after
another, introducing impressionists, Picasso, and Matisse,
etc.  The reconstruction of the established Japanese art
circles in prewar days synchronized with that.
[Early 1950s] --- Repeated introduction of young French
artists around "Salon de Mai" (eclectic or satirical
painters like Andre Marchand and Andre Minaux) inspired
Japanese critics and painters, which also influenced
"Reportage Paintings," etc. indirectly.
[Late 1950s] --- The informel sensation.  The informel
(so-called "hot abstraction") was a style easy to imitate
just like the past fauvism ("hot figurative," so to speak).
Moreover, both suited the Japanese taste.
[Early 1960s] --- Neo dada was imported.  The United States
took the place of France from which country Japan used to
refer to the West.  Pop art was imported in succession.
[Late 1960s] --- Minimalism was introduced.  Mono-ha, with
indigenous appearance, rose as a reaction of the cool
appearance of minimal art.  However, mono-ha resulted in
somewhat of resemblance to Italian arte povera, taking such
a schema that it was a kind of the localization of Western
reductionistic trends to Japan in a broad sense.
Furthermore, the schema also resembled the West in that
respect that conceptualism took a stand on the opposite side
among the reductionism.
[Late 1970s] --- Post mono-ha was established as an
autonomic development of mono-ha.  However, it resulted in a
similar schema of post-minimalism established in the West.
[Early 1980s] --- Postmodernism was introduced and
neo-expressionism was imported.  The point of contact
between post mono-ha and neo-expressionism was sometimes
called the new wave.
[Early 1990s] --- Simulationism was imported.
[Late 1990s] --- Multifarious states including PC art and
private art rose just like in the West.
[Early 2000s] --- The spread of globalism and the thought of
"living together" elevated the status of Japanese culture in
the West such as otaku and food culture.  Superflat made
approaches to that situation strategically, having an aspect
of exporting the fashion of Japan.
      By the way, various attitudes towards the West have
been seen in Japan for a long time; for instance, an
attitude to look on the dark side of the state saying
"Japanese contemporary art is merely the imports from the
West," or an attitude of blind self-affirmation saying
"whatever created in Japan is not only unique to Japan but
also excellent," or an attitude to understand the state
saying "resemblance in some degree is natural because of
living in the same age" or "Japanese traditional arts were
also the imports from China originally" or even "art has no
national boundaries," and various compromises of those
attitudes, etc.  This writer gave the above items to show
whether the interpretation as "history of following" does
really make sense or not before discussing such
nationalistic-like matters.
*This text was written as one of the footnotes to the main
text of my book "Contemporary Art History: Japan," which I
am now writing.  Here, the word "the West" means both
Western Europe and North America.


Poetics No.1 - 130
by Matsui Shigeru, poet
Poetry is a row of letters.  A row of letters is sequence.
I made "Poetics" in order to show that permuting sequence is
poetry.  "Poetics" is a row of letters, made of numbers from
1 to 31.  No. 1 is the first sequence in numeral order, and
No. 2 - 130 are made using algorithm that makes a loop by
130 times of permutation.  You can also see the way of the
permutation on my website.  However, what I want to talk
through this work is not the way of permutation.  What I
want to declare through this work is the principle of
poetry (= poetics); it is the act of permutation that is the
I used the numbers up to 31 because I wanted to maintain the
traditional Japanese style of poetry (tanka) that has 31
syllables.  If you made a poem using every number from 1 to
31 each once, you could make about
8,222,838,654,177,920,000,000,000,000,000,000 ways of poems.


JIYAI-Kagura (sacred music/dance)
by Miwa Masahiro, composer
- Attached file's name: method32_miwa.jpg
The final performance by the workshop members of "We Will
Invent an Imaginary Folk Entertainment."
At Sendai Mediatheque on January 10, 2004.
Photo: Kento Shimizu  Courtesy: Sendai Mediatheque


Nakazawa Hideki, artist:
- Book "Contemporary Art History: Japan" will soon be
published in Japanese and English.  Thank you for many
advance orders at MOT THE SHOP.
- MOT Annual 2004 "Where do I come from?  Where am I going?"
Through Mar 21, 2004.  Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo.  (Japanese only)
The 2nd edition of the sample version for the above book is
now exhibited being connected with the permanent exhibition.
- "BENNADICTION" Goliath Visual Space (Brooklyn, NYC.)
Sat, March 27, 2004. Sale for $100.
- Solo Exhibition: Gallery Cellar (Nagoya) April 3-24, 2004.
Series of coined words using the alphabet are going to be
exhibited, which I made in NYC last year.  An event will be
held during the session (further info will be announced).

Matsui Shigeru, poet:
- I will write a text for Tsurumi Sachiyo's chorus work.
The title is "Striped Stripe."  The text consists of three
poems; "Pure Poem," "Striped Stripe," and "Self Portrait."
It will be premiered by Tokyo Philharmonic Chorus in their
subscription concert on March 20, 2004.
- I will self-explain my works in "classroom appel," a
lecture to think on art, at appel (Tokyo) on March 24, 2004.

Miwa Masahiro, composer:
- On 21st of February, "Ogaki Jaiken-Daiko (drumming)" an
imaginary folk entertainment based on the rule (algorithm)
called "Jaiken-zan" from "JIYAI-Kagura" made in Sendai was
successfully performed using seven Japanese drums at Ogaki
- 3/15 The Phoenix Hall Osaka, "Dithyrambe" for Tape (1991)
will be played with Japanese traditional dance.
- 3/18 Alti Kyoto, "The New Era" for mixed voices (2001)
will be performed and its music will also be published.


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Monthly Email-Bulletin  METHOD  NO. 32  English Version
Published on March 1, 2004
(C) Group METHOD, 2004
(C) Nakazawa Hideki, Matsui Shigeru, Miwa Masahiro, 2004