Yasunao Tone: Improvisation

October 27, 2023
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Pioneering sound artist and musician Yasunao Tone performs a one-night-only event at Japan Society. Tone, who was a Fluxus member and co-founder of the avant-garde music collective, Group Ongaku, alongside Mieko Shiomi — featured in Out of Bounds: Japanese Women Artists in Fluxus — is joined by experimental musician, composer, and vocal performer Tomomi Adachi. Adachi is the fall 2023 artist-in-residence and curator and performer for the John Cage’s Japan concert series.

About the Artists

Yasunao Tone is a multidisciplinary artist working in New York City. Tone graduated from Chiba University in 1957 with a major in Japanese literature and became an important figure in postwar Japanese art during the 1960s. He was a key member of Group Ongaku, Team Random, and the Japanese branch of Fluxus, and was involved with several other collectives and artists such as the Neo-Dada Organizers, Hi-Red Center, and Butoh founder Tatsumi Hijikata. Relocating to the United States in 1972, he has since been a crucial force in the philosophical and material advancement of durational art across myriad live forms, gaining a legendary reputation as a musician, performer, and writer. He has collaborated with a prolific range of dancers, visual artists, and musicians including Merce Cunningham, Blondell Cummings, Allan Kaprow, Senga Nengudi, Butch Morris, and George Maciunas.

Tomomi Adachi is a performer, composer, sound poet, instrument builder, and visual artist. Known for his versatile style, he has performed his own voice and electronics pieces, sound poetry, improvised music and contemporary music works and also presented site-specific compositions, compositions for classical instrumental ensembles, and choir pieces for untrained musicians around the world, including Tate Modern (London, UK), MaerzMusik (Berlin, Germany), Hamburger Bahnhof Museum (Berlin, Germany), Centre Pompidou (Paris, France) and Poesiefestival Berlin (Germany). He uses a wide range of materials in his work, including self-made physical interfaces and instruments, artificial intelligence, brain waves, artificial satellite, Twitter texts, fractures, and even paranormal phenomena. Adachi presents an intermedia space which is composed of the acts of seeing, reading, listening to, and touching texts using audio, visuals, holograms and 3D printing. He also performs vocal, live-electronics or performance works by other composers such as John Cage, Cornelius Cardew, Christian Wolff, Tom Johnson, Dieter Schnebel, TAKAHASHI Yuji, YUASA Joji and Fluxus. This has included several world premieres and Japan premieres of John Cage’s works, such as Variations VII, Europera 5, and Waterwalk. His most recent work includes directing John Cage’s late work, Europeras 3 & 4 through a commission by Aichi Triennale 2022.

Out of Bounds: Japanese Women Artists in Fluxus
October 13, 2023—January 21, 2024

Out of Bounds: Japanese Women Artists in Fluxus is the first to fully explore the essential role of Japanese women in Fluxus, a movement instigated in the 1960s that helped contemporary artists define new modes of artistic expression. Near the 60th anniversary of the movement’s founding, this exhibition highlights the contributions of four pioneering Japanese artists — Shigeko Kubota (1937–2015), Yoko Ono (1933–), Takako Saito (1929–), and Mieko Shiomi (1938–) — and contextualizes their role within Fluxus and the broader artistic movements of the 1960s and beyond.

This fall, celebrate the pioneering Japanese spirit of the global avant-garde through a special season of symbiotic, genre-crossing programming.

Out of Bounds: Japanese Women Artists in Fluxus is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Japan Society programs are made possible by leadership support from Booth Ferris Foundation and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature. Exhibitions and Arts & Culture Lecture Programs are made possible, in part, by Sompo Holdings, Inc., the Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest Endowment Fund; the Mary Griggs Burke Endowment Fund established by the Mary Livingston Griggs and Mary Griggs Burke Foundation; The Masako Mera and Koichi Mera, PhD Fund for Education and the Arts; Peggy and Dick Danziger; Thierry Porté and Yasko Tashiro; and Friends of the Gallery. Support for Arts & Culture Lecture Programs is provided, in part, by the Sandy Heck Lecture Fund. Transportation assistance is provided by Japan Airlines, the official Japanese airline sponsor for Japan Society gallery exhibitions.

  • Friday, October 27, 2023
  • 7:30 pm
  • In-Person Event
  • Free Event