Jikken Kōbō

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Group photograph of Jikken Kōbō, 1954. Photo: Kitadai Shōzō. L-R: Kiyoji Ōtsuji, Shūzō Takiguchi (critic), Kuniharu Akiyama, Mrs. Takahiro Sonoda, Katsuhiro Yamaguchi, Takahiro Sonoda, Tetsurō Komai, Hideko Fukushima, Kazuo Fukushima, Tōru Takemitsu, Naoji Imai, Jōji Yuasa, Hiroyoshi Suzuki, Keijirō Satō.
Katsuhiro Yamaguchi, Vitorīnu: Yoru no shinkō [Vitrine: Deep into the Night], 1954. Watercolor on paper, oil on wood, corrugated glass. 65.5 x 56.5 x 9 cm.
Mirai no ivu [The Future Eve], Mar 1955. Stage shot at Haiyuza Theater, Tokyo. Photo: Kiyoji Ōtsuji.
A still from Jinrin (Silver Wheel) / Bicycle in Dream, 1955. A collaboration between Toshio Matsumoto and Jikken Kobo. Video.

Jikken Kōbō [Experimental Workshop] was a cross-disciplinary, intermedia art collective active in 1951-57 in Tokyo. For many, the group signaled the rebirth of avant-garde art in postwar Japan.

Jikken Kōbō consisted of fourteen members: the painters Shōzō Kitadai (1923–2001), Hideko Fukushima (1927–1997), and Katsuhiro Yamaguchi (b. 1928); the printmaker Tetsurō Komai (1920–1976); the composers Kazuo Fukushima (b. 1930), Keijirō Satō (1927–2009), Hiroyoshi Suzuki (1931–2006), Tōru Takemitsu (1930–1996), and Jōji Yuasa (b. 1927); the poet and critic Kuniharu Akiyama (1929–1996); the photographer Kiyoji Ōtsuji (1923–2001); the lighting designer Naoji Imai (b. 1928); the pianist Takahiro Sonoda (1928–2004); and the engineer Hideo Yamazaki (1920–1979).

From 1951 to late 1957 Jikken Kōbō created a series of works in collaboration with people outside the group and from a variety of creative fields, including the acclaimed modern dancers Takashi Masuda and Momoko Tani, the avant-garde film director Toshio Matsumoto, and the actress Kyōko Kishida. The group also created audiovisual work using a slide projector synchronized with a magnetic tape recorder, with the help of technicians who later named their company Sony. (Source)

Recent exhibitions[edit]

Literature[edit]

  • Kitadai Shōzō, Jihitsu nenpu, 1921–1959 [Autobiography], unpublished manuscript, c1990, The Kitadai Shōzō Archive at Taro Okamoto Museum of Art, Kawasaki. Contains detailed timeline of Jikken Kōbō. (Japanese)
  • Jikken Kōbō to Takiguchi Shūzō/Experimental Workshop, Dai 11-­kai om ̄aju Takiguchi Shūzō ten / The Eleventh Exhibition Homage to Shuzo Takiguchi, trans. Lewis Cook, Stanley N. Anderson, and Tom Spilliaert, Tokyo: Satani Gallery, 1991. (Japanese)/(English)
  • 1953-­nen raito appu: Atarashii sengo bijutsuzō ga mietekita / 1953: Shedding Light on Art in Japan, trans. Reiko Tomii, Tokyo: Meguro Museum of Art, with Tama Art University, 1996. Catalogue. (Japanese)/(English)
  • Satani Kazuhiko, "Takiguchi Shūzō to Jikken Kōbō no shigoto" [Takiguchi Shūzō and the Works of Experimental Workshop], Kokubungaku (Japanese Literature), Aug 1999, pp 104-111. (Japanese)
  • Sonoda Takahiro, "Jikken Kōbō nitsuite" [On Experimental Workshop], 1999. Lecture delivered at Alban Berg Gesellschaft, Tokyo, 12 Dec 1999. (Japanese)
  • Miwako Tezuka, Jikken Kōbō (Experimental Workshop): Avant-­Garde Experiments in Japanese Art of the 1950s, Columbia University, 2005. PhD dissertation. [3] [4]
  • Experimental Workshop: Japan 1951-58, London: Annely Juda Fine Art, 2009, 96 pp. Catalogue. Essays by Jasia Reichardt, Shuzo Takiguchi, Katsuhiro Yamaguchi, Kinichi Obinata and Shogo Otani
  • Miwako Tezuka, "Experimentation and Tradition: The Avant-Garde Play: Pierrot Lunaire by Jikken Kōbō and Takechi Tetsuji", Art Journal 70:3 (Fall 2011), pp 64-85.
  • Jikken Kōbō―Experimental Workshop, The Yomiuri Shimbun, 2012, 352 pp. Catalogue. [5]
  • Doryun Chong, "The Dawn of Cross-Genre: Jikken Kōbō and Gutai", in Tokyo 1955-1970: A New Avant-Garde, ed. Diana C. Stoll, New York: Museum of Modern Art, 2012, pp 46-57.
  • Midori Matsui, "Jikken Kōbō—Experimental Workshop", Artforum, May 2013. [6]
On individual members
  • Yamaguchi Katsuhiro, Sakuhinshū: Yamaguchi Katsuhiro 360-­do [Selected Works: Yamaguchi Katsuhiro 360 Degrees], Tokyo: Rikuyōsha, 1981. (Japanese)
  • Omuka Toshiharu, "Yamaguchi Katsuhiro intabyū: Oitachi, gakusei jidai, Vitorı ̄nu, Jikken Kōbō, hinshi no geijutsukan" [Interview with Yamaguchi Katsuhiro: His Background, School Years, Vitrine, Experimental Workshop, and the View on Moribund Art], Sōgō zōkei [Total Art] 1 (1992), pp 47-84. (Japanese)
  • Tachibana Takashi, "Takemitsu Tōru: Ongaku sōzō eno tabi" [Takemitsu Tōru: The Journey to the Creation of Music], pts. 1-18, Bungakukai [Literary World], Jun 1992-Dec 1993.
  • Ōtsuji Kiyoji: Shashin Jikken-­shitsu / Kiyoji Ohtsuji Retrospective: Experimental Workshop of Photography, Tokyo: National Museum of Modern Art, 1999. (Japanese)/(English)
  • Yuasa Jōji, Jinsei no nakaba: Ongaku no hirakareta chihei e [Midway through My Life: Toward the Open Horizon of Music], Tokyo: Keiō Gijuku Daigaku Shuppansha, 1999. (Japanese)
  • Peter Burt, "Experimental Workshop: The Years of Jikken Kōbō", ch 3 in Burt, The Music of Tōru Takemitsu, Cambridge University Press, 2001, pp 39-49.
  • Kaze no mokei: Kitadai Shōzō to Jikken Kōbō / Shozo Kitadai and Experimental Workshop, Kawasaki: Taro Okamoto Museum of Art, Kawasaki, 2003. (Japanese)/(English)
  • Andrew Maerkle, Natsuko Odate, "Every Future Leads to Its Own Past. Katsuhiro Yamaguchi: Interview", Art iT, c2010.

See also[edit]


Art

Styles and movementsCollectionsHistorians and criticsReference works