TOKYO STATION GALLERY

Current Exhibition

Parody and Intertextuality: Visual Culture in Japan around the 1970s

February 18 (Saturday) - April 16 (Sunday), 2017

Tadanori Yokoo [POP de TOP wo!] Around 1964; artist's collection

Tadanori Yokoo [POP de TOP wo!]
Around 1964; artist's collection

Ushio Shinohara [Coca-Cola Plan] 1966; private collection

Ushio Shinohara [Coca-Cola Plan]
1966; private collection

Masunobu Yoshimura [Pig; Pig Lib] 1994; Oita Art Museum collection

Masunobu Yoshimura [Pig; Pig Lib]
1994; Oita Art Museum collection

Genpei Akasegawa From [Sakura Gaho appearance in March 19, 1971 edition]; 1971

Genpei Akasegawa
From [Sakura Gaho appearance in March 19, 1971 edition]; 1971

Shiro Kuramata [Homage to Mondrian #1] 1975/Cappellini 2009 ©KURAMATA DESIGN OFFICE,Special Cooperation with Cappellini Point Tokyo_Team Iwakiri Products

Shiro Kuramata [Homage to Mondrian #1] 1975/Cappellini 2009
©KURAMATA DESIGN OFFICE,
Special Cooperation with Cappellini Point Tokyo_Team Iwakiri Products

Bikkuri House inaugural issue; 1974

Bikkuri House inaugural issue; 1974

Art Agency Tokyo "Juzo Itami's Art Report ‘At the Pawnshop’"; 1976

Art Agency Tokyo
"Juzo Itami's Art Report ‘At the Pawnshop’"; 1976

Hideya Kawakita (AD) [The Monopolist] 1976; Metro Cultural Foundation collection

Hideya Kawakita (AD) [The Monopolist]
1976; Metro Cultural Foundation collection

【Closed】
Mondays (except March 20) and March 21
【Hours Open】
10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
*Fridays: Until 8:00 p.m.
*Last admission 30 minutes before closing
【Admission fee】
Adults: 900 yen (800 yen), high school and university students: 700 yen (600 yen), junior high school students and younger: Free
*Fees shown in parentheses are for groups of 20 or more people
*Persons with a disability certificate or similar receive a 100 yen discount and one accompanying helper is admitted free.
【Organized by】
Tokyo Station Gallery (East Japan Railway Culture Foundation)
【Special Cooperation】
Cappellini Point Tokyo_Team Iwakiri Products

Parody here, there, and everywhere!
Reviving a technique of wit and criticism.

From mid-1960s onward, Japanese artists made extensive use of parody, and in the 1970s parody became popular in society as a result of its use on TV, in magazines, etc. Was the phenomenon of every conceivable kind of culture becoming infected with parody an ephemeral flower that bloomed in the gap between modern and postmodern? Via the visual culture of that time, in this exhibition we look back at the techniques and forms of parody, a term which became well established in Japanese even though its meaning is somewhat obscure.

From rebellion to ingenuity

In the cultural history of postwar Japan, the 1970s can be viewed as a time of the retreat of the avant-garde and the flowering of subcultures. From 1960s rebellion and struggle, Japan moved on to 1970s life rich in airy ingenuity. The thing that is most emblematic of the nature of this era is "parody."

The parody era

The word "parody" had been used mostly by publications such as weekly magazines, photojournalistic magazines, and manga magazines, but as Japan entered the 1970s, it suddenly gained social acceptance in everyday language. On the streets and on TV, parody-style advertisements were seen everywhere, Genpei Akasegawa's Sakura Gaho (1970-71) manga series ran in Asahi Journal, and Yasutaka Tsutsui published Nihon Igai Zembu Chinbotsu (The End of the World Except Japan). A lawsuit sparked by a photomontage by artist Mad Amano dragged on for 16 years from 1971, and came to be known as the "Parody Trial." The magazine Bikkuri House (1974-85), which from the beginning was produced in part as a parody magazine, gained overwhelming popularity among young people.

A vivid interplay

This exhibition takes a new look at the techniques and forms of parody which bloomed in the gap between modern and postmodern. What kind of technique is parody? How is it the same as, and different from, satire and imitation? In what kinds of situations and in what kinds of ways did the technique of parody come to be used? The origins of parody can be traced back through history to ancient Greece, but rather than taking a general and abstract look at parody, we have narrowed our focus to a single era in order to present vivid and concrete expressions of parody and bring to light parody's interplay with society.

Rare works also included

From artists who enlivened the era, such as Genpei Akasegawa and Tadanori Yokoo, to relatively obscure artists, this exhibition includes a rich selection of approximately 300 items (artworks and materials), with the focus being on paintings, manga, and graphics. You can also look forward to seeing unusual works such as seldom exhibited manga manuscripts, precious television recordings, court trial records, and more.

Significance for the present day

By spurring consideration of expression that modifies things that already exist rather than starting from scratch, we hope that this exhibition will serve as an opportunity for substantive thinking on the "original vs. copy" debate that exists in today's digital environment.

Lavish events

During the exhibition period, talk-show events with an impressive lineup of participants (Shinbo Minami, Fusanosuke Natsume, Makoto Aida, etc.) will be held. Details will be announced as necessary on the event page.