On the Battlefield of “Superflat”: The Origins of Japanese Neo Pop

May 26, 2005
past event image
Lecture past event

Thursday, May 26
6:30 pm

Image: Installation shot, Little Boy: The Arts of Japan’s Exploding Subculture. Yuji Sakai, godzilla figures, various scales and dates. background: 1989, scale 1:80. Photo credit: Sheldan Collins.

The cartoons that dominate Japan’s media and entertainment industries–which often juxtapose wide-eyed, infantilized figures with themes of atomic explosion and futuristic annihilation/salvation–simultaneously serve to exaggerate, diminish, and provide escape from the darker elements of Japan’s postwar period. In grappling with these apparent dissonances, contemporary Japanese artists have created a visual legacy that interrogates and explodes the dualities of innocence and malevolence, victory and defeat, popular culture and high art. In this lecture, Noi Sawaragi, leading art critic and contributor to the Little Boy: The Arts of Japan’s Exploding Subculture exhibition catalogue, discusses the cultural and critical meanings of Japanese Neo Pop, placing it within the historical and social contexts of postwar Japan.

Tickets: $10; Japan Society members and seniors $8; students $5. Ticket-holders will be granted free admission to Little Boy: The Arts of Japan’s Exploding Subculture until 9 pm.

  • Thursday, May 26, 2005
  • 6:30 pm